Positioning yourself as an expert is an effective way to level up your marketing strategy.
If you were to ask any seasoned thought leader who has an established track record, he or she will more than likely tell you that marketing is not easy. For the most part, it’s a gamble, as you never know exactly how your content will be received. It’s not a simple matter of filming a piece of content, plastering it with flashy jingles and edits and posting it on social media in hopes it will land with the majority and convert into sales. If it were that easy, everyone would be doing it.
Marketing can be challenging because there are no clear-cut rules about what works best anymore. Thought-leadership marketing, however, remains one of the most effective methods personal brands can utilize to establish their authority and position themselves as experts in their fields — when done correctly. The marketing challenge is then to devise a scalable thought-leadership strategy to productize this knowledge, then monetize it with customers and prospects.
What is thought-leadership marketing?
Thought leadership is a complex, multifaceted position that requires a precise mix of both relating skills and marketing skills. A thought leader is well versed in expressing ideas and opinions that demonstrate expertise and authority, ultimately positioning himself or herself as a leader in his or her industry. Thought leaders have the ability to influence other people, especially in business, and have immense power in changing a single narrative — because their audience trusts them.
There have been many notable thought leaders throughout history such as Elon Musk, Martin Luther King Jr., Dalai Lama and Steve Jobs. Tony Robbins is a public figure who modernized thought leadership and made it popular among today’s entrepreneurs, many of whom run coaching programs, offer educational courses and teach others how to create a life of purpose, fulfilment and freedom.
Why is thought-leadership marketing essential?
In this digital age where competition is fierce, especially among those who are the face of their brands, if you want to improve sales effectiveness and differentiate your brand, a thought-leadership strategy is critical. People want to know, like and trust you before they want to buy from you.
Thought leadership also inspires authenticity, which buyers crave in the modern world where everything seems like a sales gimmick or ad. Thought-leadership marketing is essential because your audience will be paying more attention, take you more seriously, see more value in your offers, and ultimately, it will allow you to become a catalyst for growth.
How to effectively utilize thought-leadership marketing
Establishing your brand as a subject-matter expert gives you exposure and authority, and it shows where you are knowledgeable. My own media platform, Ohwabisabi, features the stories and messages of conscious thought leaders in long-form content format, most of which is written by those who wish to establish credibility as thought leaders through writing and sharing their own unique perspectives. With ever-changing narratives in any field, this is why I also choose to use a range of platforms to share and express my views and messages in areas I am passionate in — and it’s why I started Ohwabisabi this time a year ago.
Having your message or story shared on any kind of media platform establishes expertise because it is written by a third party, endorsing you and what you stand for. When you’ve been featured, you’ll gain your audience’s trust.
Create engaging content
As content continues to reign as king, clever leaders develop thought-leadership strategies to position themselves as valuable to their target audiences. This content can come from research papers, blog posts, books and ebooks, videos and webinars.
Some thought leaders write blog posts regularly that provide value to their readers. Some create visual content on social media around trending topics relevant to their industries. Video and webinars that answer the questions most important to your audience with credible information are also an essential part of thought-leadership marketing.
In basic marketing, we learn that “everyone” is not a target audience. If your messaging to your audience is too broad, your message won’t land effectively. So, rather than defining your audience as “everyone” and spending substantial time and money getting your content in front of “everyone,” focus on those who love what you do, who you are and what you have to say. They’re the ones who will become strong, loyal advocates for your brand.
Establishing your organization as an industry thought leader is about building trust, credibility and authority, boosting the public perception of your brand in a positive way. These days, consumers use digital and social media for a large majority of the purchasing process, so how you position yourself in the digital space remains crucial.
Not a single day goes by without my speaking to an early-stage entrepreneur who wants to discuss marketing and how to get quick results. So let’s just get this out of the way from the beginning: Marketing takes time.
There are some tactics you can use that will generate a return on investment (ROI) in the relatively short term, but achieving real long-lasting results takes time. Put simply, anything you achieve in the short term will go down as fast as it went up. You want to play the long game. This is true even if you’re tempted to try some things that are less organic but might look good on the surface, such as buying likes or followers. Don’t do that.
Instead, here are five reasons you should start generating content on your own company blog as soon as you can:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is very much a thing
I know that social media gets all the hype nowadays and no one is talking about search anymore, but they’re wrong not to. A quick glance at the numbers will show you that search drives just as much traffic as social does, at least for the time being.
Once you’re sold on the importance of search, now the question is how to leverage it. I am obviously oversimplifying here, but the more incoming links to your site, the better. How do you get people to link to you? Well, some SEO experts would tell you to buy links. I say listen to Google and produce good content people want to talk about and link to.
Getting social on social media
Let’s break down what social media means. The “media” part is obvious, but what about the “social” part? Are you engaging with people like you do offline or are you using Twitter as a glorified RSS feed or sales platform?
I once heard a speech from the guy who invented the “Like” button at Facebook. He explained that he wanted to give people the ability to express appreciation for someone else’s content. What did it do? We ruined it by begging for likes.
How about instead of asking me to follow you, giving me a reason to click “Like” or “Follow”? What’s the best reason to get someone to do that? Fill your feed with quality content, yours or someone else’s, and that’s how you increase your numbers across social media.
Public relations is not the same as content marketing
Let’s clear one thing up: When you or someone on your team writes an article about the industry on the company blog, that’s called content marketing. When a journalist writes about the company, that’s called public relations (PR).
So why does content help with PR? When you pitch a journalist, the first thing he or she is going to do is Google your name or the company’s name. When there is no footprint on the internet, that raises a red flag.
However, when he or she encounters all of your content, all of a sudden you are now a colleague, and not just a company pitching that journalist. Just like he or she produces content, you produce content.
Content changes the whole dynamic between you and journalists.
Your user acquisition can be much more frictionless
Whether you are running ads or acquiring users in another way, content makes the whole process that much easier.
It’s fairly straightforward. If I come across an ad for a company I’ve never heard of, I might click, I might not, but even if I do, it’s a very cold click, and converting me will be quite the challenge.
If, however, I see that ad and think to myself, “Oh, I know that company. I read their blog, listen to their podcast, or follow them on Twitter,” the chances of engaging me are significantly higher. Simply put, content elevates your brand.
Business development with a stranger is not as fun as with someone who trusts you
Finally, last but not least, content marketing helps with business development. Imagine going out to dinner with a potential customer and the person sits across from you with a look on his face that says, “What are you selling this time?”
Now contrast that with the look on his face that says, “I am loving your content. You clearly know your stuff, and I want to work with professionals. So how do we get started?”
That right there is the difference between cold business development and warm business development. That’s the difference between a company that produces valuable industry content and a company that only focuses on promoting itself.
So, the bottom line, in case it wasn’t clear? Stop reading this and start producing content of your own.
The often overlooked tactic enhances reach, raises brand awareness and drives new customers and clients to your business
Picture the scene: It’s 2021, and the enormity and popularity of digital marketing is providing entrepreneurs with a plethora of opportunities and the ability to tap into an audience of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of potential customers, all at the push of a button.
When Facebook first launched back in 2004, it really was the first of its kind. Before that, we had MySpace and a few other platforms I’ve never heard of (Friendster or Hi5, anyone?), but none of them had managed to make the impact that Facebook did, and still does.
Since Facebook, we’ve seen the launch of Instagram in 2010 and TikTok in 2016, plus the addition of Instagram Reels in 2020. Not to mention other platforms such as Snapchat and Clubhouse, all giving us access to a wider audience.
In the past 19 years, we’ve all had the luxury of being able to communicate directly with our fans, customers and potential customers in a way that has never been possible before. But before the advent of social media, businesses and brands were built the “old fashioned” way, using more traditional marketing techniques, such as advertising and face-to-face networking.
Social media seems like the Holy Grail
When the world became more digitized, tools such as online advertising, pay-per-click and email marketing grew in popularity and gave entrepreneurs and brands alike the chance to reach an even wider audience. Data was easier to track and metrics and insights enabled you to calculate your return on investment.
For many entrepreneurs and startup businesses, social media seems like the Holy Grail. Not only do you get to build an audience and interact and engage with your followers, but it’s also completely free at the point of entry. Of course, you can now invest in adverts across all social-media channels, but for someone completely new to the business world, social media is a sensible place to start.
Yet there’s a missing piece of the puzzle here. A modality that’s as old as time, but a powerful force when it comes to sharing messages, raising brand awareness and building on the know-like-trust factor. And that’s public relations.
Everything you say and do is PR
Public relations exists so that you can communicate with your audience. If you Google “public relations,” you will find Wikipedia’s definition: “Public Relations is the practice of deliberately managing the release and spread of information between an individual or organisation and the public, in order to affect the public perception.”
So, essentially, everything you say and do is PR, but the platform in which you share your message changes. The tools you use to share your message changes. But the message remains the same. Your audience, generally, stays the same, yet where they hang out may change, based on the launch of new platforms, or the increased popularity of existing platforms, such as YouTube and podcasts.
YouTube first launched back in 2005 and podcasts launched a year earlier in 2004, yet they’ve only really exploded as a business tool over the past few years, giving entrepreneurs and startups the chance to create easy-to-share and easy-to-digest content that their ideal clients will love — content that can then be repurposed across social-media channels.
Back in 2004, when I first started my career in PR, there were really only three types of media outlets to pitch to: print titles, TV and radio. Online titles were seen as the poor relation to print, so we rarely bothered pitching to them as clients didn’t see the value in them — oh how times have changed!
However, because there was less choice, it made it easier to build relationships with journalists and work on features and content ideas with them. Over time, the media landscape has changed, and online started to make a huge impact and podcasts and YouTube channels became prime real estate.
Now, there is way more choice when it comes to gaining exposure, so while you may not consider social media, YouTube or podcasts your typical media outlets, they’re still consumed by your ideal clients, still covering topics that complement what you do, and they still have a ready-made audience of loyal fans that you could (and should) be tapping into. How? Quite simply, by pitching.
One piece of content can be shared and shared again
The way you’d pitch yourself to a podcast host is the exact same way that you’d pitch yourself to a journalist. That is a PR tactic and a skill that publicists have been honing for decades. Now, one of the utterly brilliant, yet often overlooked, powers of PR is that you can take one piece of content and deliver it to millions of people in one go. No other form of communication enables you to do that.
It may take time to build and execute your PR plan. You may not see anything published or broadcast for three to four months, but when it lands, it’s well worth the wait, as your content has the potential to be seen or heard by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of potential ideal clients and customers. Just think about the circulation of a print publication, then triple it to get an average reach.
Think about the audience size of a podcast, then think how many extra people you can reach by sharing it across your social-media channels. And then think about how many extra people you will reach when the host shares it across their social-media channels. All of a sudden, one piece of content can be shared and shared again, leaving behind a digital footprint and breadcrumbs that can lead even more people to your business.
This is another reason why PR is such a powerful and influential tool — because what you do now is searchable forever. PR isn’t always easy to measure, which potentially adds to its downfall in the ROI stakes, but it’s still a tactic that should be employed, and a muscle that should be flexed, as part of your communications strategy.
PR is yet another way of transporting your business and your expertise to a wider audience, an audience that has been built up and cultivated for decades, that already knows, likes and trusts the outlet and the content they produce.
So, next time you decide to put all your eggs in one basket and focus all of your attention on one particular marketing tool, or one particular platform, ask if there’s a more efficient, more effective way of sharing your message to drive hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of new customers to your business. The answer, in case you missed it, is PR.
What was once a trend is now a way of life. Mobile is No. 1 when it comes to media consumption as 72% of people across the globe will use just their smartphones to access the internet by 2025. Now is the time to ask yourself: How mobile-focused is your marketing strategy, your campaigns and your content? Are they still made for desktop?
It’s Not About Hype — It’s About Agility
Whether chatbots, Clubhouse, App Clips or AI, new technologies are necessary for your marketing strategy and you have to master them. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter if TikTok becomes more popular than Snapchat or if Twitch is the latest and greatest social platform. In the long run, the brand that reaches people on the right channels with the right messages and understands their wants, needs and demands will prevail. New technologies are just hardware, a new tool to deal with. What counts in mobile marketing is flexibility, agility and creativity. Fixed annual plans, rigid budgeting cycles, exhaustive decision-making processes and approval dynamics do not fit into this mobile world. Agility is the keyword, but this does not mean acting rashly.
Video Is King
We learned that brand loyalty suffered during the pandemic. One lasting mistake many marketers will regret is cutting back their content budget during the pandemic. To get people excited about your brand again, mobile video content is the best tool. We can’t resist video. It’s one of the most powerful and evocative mediums. We can still remember slogans and jingles years later. Video can increase credibility, serve as a source of information and can be an inspiration. In short, videos have a magical attraction.
According to a 2018 study, American adults spend an average of three hours a day consuming media on either a smartphone or tablet. Additionally, “64% of adult smartphone users who watch video on social networking sites and apps, do so at least once per day,” with that figure up to 72% for younger adults (ages 18 to 34). If you want to appeal to both your loyal and new customers with your messages, mobile video should be your first priority.
Video And Values
When my team and I talk about videos, we also talk about brand health. Brands should use video to communicate their values rather than their products. Here are three steps to success for value-driven videos:
1. Be selfless instead of selfish. It’s about the customer, not about you.
2. What’s the value? Tell a story. Award the people’s time. Give, don’t just take.
3. Empathy wins. Create an emotional connection between people and your brand.
But for mobile video to convert prospects and bring in ROI, there are also craft aspects to consider. Here are a few craft tips to keep in mind:
• Create content regularly. Use the full range of content — think fun, hero content, but also storytelling, campaign or how-to videos.
• Pay attention to different ratios during conception and production and consider where the video should run. As an Instagram story or post, Facebook or YouTube? At a ratio of 1:1 or 4:3? One-size-fits-all does not work.
• Run a “stop scrolling test.” The first five seconds must work without sound!
• Include a call-to-action. Videos should trigger an action from the viewer — visiting your landing page, subscribing to your channel or learning more from a blog post.
• Avoid too much generic content. This includes generic or stock footage. No message means no effect.
• Refrain from using an iconic voice as a voiceover. Let real people speak.
• Establish fixed content formats and faces. Use the same hosts/role models again and again.
• Use a mix of quality storytelling and user-generated content.
• Don’t script the words. This can come across as fake to a viewer.
• Use real people/customers to tell real stories that authentically convey the brand’s core values.
Mobile Marketing In 2021 And Beyond
Looking forward, the most important aspects of mobile marketing will be personalization and localization. The main task for brands will be to create as many mobile touchpoints as possible. Content partnerships, blogs, QR codes and audio are all ways to make your brand communication mobile-friendly.
While mobile video is still the best way to communicate with your customers, there are already several new mobile megatrends on the horizon that are worth your attention. The first is mobile audio. Branded podcasts are the perfect way to reach your target audience. Some successful examples include “The Message” by GE and pasta playlists — Spotify playlists by pasta brand Barilla that play music for the exact length of time it takes to cook different kinds of pasta. Another upcoming mobile trend is to use SMS. While posts and stories disappear or get lost in a never-ending feed, SMS is firmly entrenched in our phones and captures subscribers’ undivided attention.
There are many entrepreneurs who wonder if having a marketing consultancy is truly necessary for their business. Many use the size of the company as an excuse for not giving importance to the marketing strategy, while others believe that with a couple of training courses, an internal person in the company will be able to develop, implement, and keep control of all the necessary marketing strategies. The truth is that neither reason is valid to rule out having the services of a marketing consultancy.
Beyond what many think, a marketing consultancy is very beneficial for the development and growth of a business, regardless of its size or the field in which it is dedicated, and as proof of this here are a series of benefits that your company will enjoy if you trust a good marketing consultancy.
Highly qualified and experienced staff
A marketing consultancy is characterized by having among its ranks highly qualified personnel with extensive experience in the market. This staff is usually specialized in each field of marketing, so if you hire the services of a specialized company, you will have a social media professional, an SEO professional, a copywriter, a professional working on your marketing strategy, a designer, and so on. You will have a specialist from each field with all their know-how working for you.
Up-to-date marketing news
Marketing is a very fluid discipline. Therefore, in order to be aware of all these changes, you should receive continuous training. However, if you use a marketing consultancy, it is important to make sure that you entrust the marketing of your business to a company that is aware of the latest developments in the field of marketing and that all this is applied to your company in order to obtain the best results.
A marketing consultancy can offer a business a 360° service, that is, they take care of absolutely everything that has to do with the marketing of your company: market studies; analysis of existing opportunities; analysis of your company in relation to the market; design of the action plan adapted to the studies previously carried out; carrying out the proposed marketing actions and subsequent control of them, with the possibility of redoing the plan if the results are not as expected. You should consider looking at a company such as Winning By Design for these services.
The internationalization of companies is one of the growth strategies that has emerged with great force, thanks to globalization and the digitization of business models. It’s important that you familiarize yourself about the full potential of this strategy, it’s possible advantages and disadvantages, and how to apply it to your business. The internationalization of companies refers to the ability of a business to grow beyond its country of birth.
For this, the company generates a branch towards other markets in which it detects that its product or service is in demand and can be successful. Today’s globalized reality means that markets in different countries are interconnected. This, together with the democratization of digital tools, has meant that today the internationalization of companies of any size is easier than ever.
While the marketing landscape is ever-changing, there are some foundational elements that are timeless: static ideals that aren’t going to become obsolete.
For instance, one of the unchangeable rules of marketing is that you must use personal context in your marketing efforts to receive the highest quality results. The difference now is how you plan to deliver that context in a relevant way.
This means you need to be more aware of the needs of your client and consumer than ever before. Access to the internet and its complete integration into our culture means that your customers have a greater ability to research exactly who you are — and they aren’t afraid to use it.
Therefore, your marketing team needs to be as active and alert as the consumer you’re trying to target — and it means your marketing approach needs to be genuine, relevant, and customer-focused. This is the heart of modern marketing, also referred to as “inbound marketing.”
1. How you treat people with your marketing is a reflection of your brand.
I think we’ve all heard the phrase “the customer is always right” a time or two in our lives. That might be a cliché, but it’s one that rings true. Even when potential or existing customers are upset, they’re paying attention to how businesses react to scenarios that they directly identify with or feel represents them.
To avoid the kind of negative press that comes with saying one thing and doing another, your marketing needs to hit home that it’s there to meet your customer’s needs while actively following through on that unspoken promise.
To do this, you might start by creating a marketing campaign that includes:
Responsive live-chat messaging that gets answers to your customers sooner.
Upbeat customer service emails — without canned generalizations — and modern signature etiquette.
Curating careful content that takes an empathetic stance on an issue relating to your client — or no stance at all.
Following up on every customer review with a positive response and solution showing your appreciation for their feedback and business. This one needs to be both organic and professional.
Once you know more about who you’re trying to serve, you can deliver better service.
Customers want to see results, but the modern consumer also wants to know how you arrived there — and if the convenience and relief they are paying for comes from an ethical standpoint.
This also gives you an opportunity to circle back and delight your customers by reminding them why you’re worth what they pay. This is something that can be carefully managed with automation, depending on your client base — but your marketing team should always have their fingers on the pulse of your programs and be ready to make changes.
At Rent Bridge, this is one of the many reasons why we love working within the HubSpot framework: it allows our marketing team to make quick, responsive changes on the fly both for our property management customers and ourselves alike.
To provide results-oriented content, consider trying some of the following tips:
Show your customers how your business’s products or services solve their problems in a way that acknowledges them as more than a dollar sign.
Stay current without appearing opportunistic: your clients are smart, and they can tell when you’re being real with your sense of understanding or if you’re just milking the moment.
Continue to provide well-researched content for your clients to drive organic growth, and update what isn’t working to keep your quality consistent.
Digital Marketing Rules
You already know by now how crucial your online presence is when trying to reach your ideal customer. If you haven’t already invested some of your marketing resources in email, social media, and your website, your business may suffer unless you make this a priority moving forward.
Customers can usually tell within three to five seconds whether your website contains what they’re looking for — or if they should be giving your content a hard pass. In marketing, this is often referred to as “The Blink Test” and it makes infographics one of the best ways to deliver value to your customers.
This kind of imagery is not only scannable, but it delivers critical information that your customer needs. People process digital messages 60,000 times faster than text, making infographics one of the most effective ways of engaging with customers — especially on social media.
However, you also need to make sure that your content can be interacted with by a diverse range of customers — including those who might not be able to see your content. The last thing you want your business to appear to be is exclusionary.
That means digital marketers must focus on keyword research that supports voice search. That way, their business shows up in results when their audience utilizes these services.
Email Marketing Rules
If you’re doing your email marketing right, there’s no need for it to be boring.
At Rent Bridge, we tap into email as a core component of our “delight” approach to marketing (another facet of the inbound marketing philosophy). Email should be a crucial element of any future marketing campaigns you intend to build.
If you consider the statistics available from Oberlo that by the year 2023, the number of consumers with ready access to email is expected to be 4.3 billion, then you’ll quickly see that this is still a powerful tool to reach current and future clients.
With such a high number of users turning to email for their communication needs, that means you must know email marketing etiquette and how to implement this successfully.
1. Make your call-to-action pop.
If you want your potential and current customers to act, your call to action (CTA) must be to the point.
Offering more than one product or service in an email confuses readers and inundates them with too much information. Too much choice in an email can also muddle the effectiveness of your CTA.
3. Make sure it’s personalized.
In addition to the greeting, the customer’s name should be in the body of the message as well.
For example, when talking about your product or service, insert the customer’s name in the middle of a sentence to engage them at a deeper level. If you’re using automation for your marketing emails, this is crucial to include.
4. Create clickable images.
Creating clickable images with a tracking URL helps you understand when readers are clicking internal links and images in messages. Alternatively, you might try embedding video and keeping track of who clicks on the video in your email.
5. Use plenty of space.
Instead of clustering links or other content close together, space things out to make the message easier to scan and links more clickable.
6. Keep it simple.
While we all might love creating colourful email messages full of imagery, video, and other content, that isn’t optimal for those with a slow connection. So, offer faster loading email options for those who prefer plain text.
7. Don’t forget the subject.
Subject lines should pique interest, give clients a sense of urgency, and be relevant to their needs.
Social Media Marketing Rules
Learning how to market on social media platforms is an integral part of your business’s success in 2020 and beyond. Digging into the statistics for each platform is an excellent way to understand trends and where you should be focusing your efforts.
According to Statista, during quarter one of 2020, Facebook reached 2.6 million monthly active users.
However, data also reveals that the United States leans heavily on LinkedIn, with active users totalling 160 million as of April 2020.
The platform you choose depends completely on understanding more about your ideal client.
1. Develop content your audience finds valuable.
Your audience doesn’t want to see posts about your products or services. They want to see stories about ways your company can solve their pain points.
2. Focus on reputable content.
Does the content you’re posting put your company’s reputation at risk? Are you responding to comments in ways that are damaging?
Social media focuses on conversations, no matter if they’re in groups or happening one-on-one. Your content should focus on stirring up that engagement in a positive way.
3. Collaborate and engage.
Your social media marketing should include authenticity and transparency each time you engage with your audience. Look at the conversations happening in your network and think of ways your company can contribute valuable information.
4. Don’t force engagement.
In today’s business climate, your audience has the convenience of interacting with your company on their terms. That means businesses aren’t talking “at” their customers to force engagement.
Instead, they’re developing deeper relationships that foster targeted conversations. This ties right back into the principles of inbound marketing.
5. Automate within reason.
While you should have some content prepared ahead of time to keep engagement high, the platform you post with should allow you to be flexible enough to change your content at the drop of a hat.
Now that you know the direction marketing is heading, how will you respond as a company? Your response to the changing desires of your clients should always address their fundamental needs.
This allows you to build a business that is both agile and stable, rather than directed by whim or whatever new marketing technique catches your eye. At Rent Bridge, we call the latter “random acts of marketing,” and it’s one of the easiest ways to dilute your message as a business and sabotage your brand-building efforts.
Ultimately, to be a profitable company, you need your marketing to be both genuine and trendy, stable and flexible. This dichotomy in business is partially what makes inbound marketing paired with a careful amount of automation so powerful for the growth of companies today.
Shelter your efforts from instability by returning to your “Why” with your marketing efforts (one of the new rules of marketing), and your content will be genuine from the start.
To set your company apart from its competition, you need to tell a unique story. Sharing the “why” of your business helps bring humanity to your brand and it’s something that will resonate with your clients. This storytelling is critical, but sometimes your chosen narrative just isn’t working.
Fortunately, you can always pivot your campaign and reconnect with your audience. Below, the members of Forbes Business Council share 12 warning signs your marketing strategy isn’t resonating with customers, and how you can fix the issue.
1. You’re Not Meeting Your Objectives
Data is our biggest ally to see whether a strategy is working or not. If objectives are not met, it’s a big warning sign. If conducting market research to identify the underlying root cause isn’t an option, a test-and-learn approach can help uncover solutions. For example, run a pilot in less expensive geography with similar characteristics to your target market to gain insight into what works. – Trevor Testwuide, Measured
2. You’re Not Measuring Success In The First Place
Whether or not a marketing strategy is working is dependent on what you’re measuring to assess its performance. Is the goal to build awareness? Is it to change or have a positive impact on the persona of the brand or company? Is the goal to take a specific action, purchase the product or service or to give a testimonial? The goal first has to be determined and then measure the results to see if it’s working. – Sharon Lynn Livingston, The Livingston Center for Professional Coaching
3. You’re Attracting The Wrong Audience
If you’re fishing for salmon and pulling in minnows, you know you’ve got the wrong bait. When this is the case, be sure you are understanding what is meaningful to your audience and that you’re engaging with them where they are. Adjusting your strategy isn’t a bad thing, but not measuring and tracking to know when to correct your approach is. – Mary Conway, MKC Strategies, LLC
4. Leadership Hasn’t ‘Bought In’ To The Narrative
Choosing a narrative is not marketing’s job in my opinion. That comes from the CEO or the founder of the company. If the founder isn’t fully invested, the narrative won’t work. It’s marketing’s job to help communicate it after it’s realized, but if there’s no buy-in from the entire leadership team, it’s not going to work. – Sandra Lewis, Boldly Premium Subscription Staffing
5. People Are Asking For Clarification
If people ask you to clarify what you mean or for you to simplify the language in their terms, it means the messaging just isn’t resonating with your intended audience. For example, we take the often complex topic of government bidding and simplify our messaging and communication for different business sizes and industries. Make sure anyone can understand what you are trying to say! – Maurice Harary, The Bid Lab
6. You’re Not Seeing Conversions
Companies need to be agile in their approach to marketing. If your marketing outreach is not converting, that’s a red flag. This is where smaller companies have an advantage. Often, putting yourself in the shoes of your customer gives a fresh perspective. No one wants to be sold, but everyone loves to buy! If your marketing is not informing and delighting your customers, it’s time to pivot. – Judi Hays, Judi Hays, Inc.
7. There’s No Engagement From Your Audience
One of the most common failings of a brand’s storytelling is that it fails to drive engagement or responses from your target audience. Often, the key reason for this is that a brand is talking in a self-directed manner rather than celebrating its customers, partners or the beneficiaries of the impact work. In short, a brand must be the celebrant, not a celebrity of its stakeholder community. – Simon Mainwaring, We First
8. Your Business Isn’t Getting Traffic
One of the telltale signs that your marketing strategy is not working is not getting or rather not attracting traffic to your business despite the effort you put into advertising your business. A simple fix is to understand your target market and offer a solution for the needs of your target audience. Encourage questions and suggestions on how to better the service or product you are selling to them. – Chastity Heyward, Sylvan Learning Center
9. Your Customers Are Telling You It’s Not Working
Listen first and understand where things aren’t working. Then go back to your consumer, and enter the conversations already in their head. This will help with how you communicate over what you communicate so that it resonates with them more and makes the strategy more relevant. – Brian Chew, OC Wills and Trust Attorneys
10. You’re Not Seeing ROI
Marketing is about driving sales. If you are not getting the ROI you were expecting, things need to change. Build your story around your “why” instead of your products or services. Focus on your purpose and the impact your company is having on this world. It is about creating emotion and connection with your target audience. Share stories about the lives you have impacted with your solution. – Andreea Vanacker, SPARKX5
11. Your Metrics Are Baselining
A telltale sign a campaign isn’t working is when metrics start to baseline. This can happen when companies focus on the end of the customer journey and not enough on the attraction and awareness stages. The hook is never fully set and prospective customers slip away. The best thing to do is to ensure that the first brand touch is as strong as possible by looking at the experience as a whole. – Byung Choi, MarcomCentral
12. The Story Isn’t Relatable To Your Target Audience
Sometimes we think that the stories that we tell are relatable, but they may not be because they either are not relatable to that segment of your audience or because your audience is not ready to hear that story. That is why it is just as critical for us as sellers and storytellers to research our audience and find what their current needs and wants are. – Kamil Sattar, E-commerce Mentoring
It’s hard to imagine a post-COVID world right now. No one can be sure when we’ll get back to normal and what normal will look like. Trying to plan for the future feels fruitless, and yet it will feel like everything is happening at once, so you need to be prepared.
For business owners and marketing departments, this presents the challenge of how to approach advertising in a post-COVID world. Have the fundamentals changed, and what is a safe promotional route to go down? Here’s how you can pivot your strategy ready for a new world.
Be content cautious
As the reality of coronavirus and lockdown measures started to set in, a new type of marketing content cropped up on our televisions and social media feeds.
Suddenly sentimental, coronavirus-themed content was in every other ad you saw. This uplifting content generally focused on people’s sacrifices throughout the crisis, how we’re all in this together, and what businesses are doing for you in your time of need. For many, this content provides assurance and shows companies understand what people need most.
The question for marketers once this crisis is over, or at least starting to wind down, is how do you move on from this content, and will coronavirus-tinged content still be appropriate? As people assess the full impact of the virus is it right to use their situation to push them towards purchases, if it ever was?
To pivot your content direction post-COVID you need to be aware of the genuine concerns people will have in regards to making coronavirus your focus. You need to balance the fine line of being aware of the current circumstances without appearing to take advantage of them.
Creating media that captures the public mood and shows appreciation for their feelings can really grab attention and cut through the mass of competition of social media channels. People don’t mind being advertised to if they think the brand genuinely has their best interests at heart. That involves offering something back, even if it’s just a message of support.
You should also look to create content that is genuinely informative. Try and educate people within your specialism on the common coronavirus issues. Slipping in a bit of promotional while doing so is fine, as you’re providing a service. People will want to set up good social distancing measures at work, so suggest creative ways to do so. It may not directly result in conversions, but it’ll build up goodwill with your brand.
The most successful post-COVID content will likely look a lot like the best campaigns we’ve seen throughout the campaign. Let shareable content filmed through Zoom calls inspire you and make sure not to misjudge people’s emotions.
Consider your finances
It’s safe to say most people are expecting things to get a little bit tighter financially after coronavirus.
As if the toil of the virus alone isn’t bad enough, it has also led to significant economic turmoil across the world. With many businesses operating on a much stricter budget — if any budget at all — the money is unlikely to be there for extravagant marketing campaigns. Just like you can’t act like your audience has money to burn, you need to operate securely yourself.
It’s important your marketing starts slowly and tries to avoid as many costly mistakes as possible. Ideally, you can look to follow the example set by small businesses. You don’t need to start from scratch, but approaching your marketing expenses in the way a startup or entrepreneur would will help you make low-investment risks when it comes to pivoting your strategy. These businesses rarely operate with a high-risk, high-reward mentality, which can be a great guide through this tricky period.
Your first campaign after the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t need to be an all-time-great homerun in advertising, but it can’t be something you bet the immediate future of the company on. Businesses are going to be judged not just by how they responded to the outbreak, but how they continue to respond throughout the recovery.
Think small scale with your marketing. Extravagant short films about the bravery of people throughout the crisis may be great, uplifting content, but they can be costly to produce. Whereas taking a more subtle, low-key approach within the budget constraints of a smaller business can help you show support, while accomplishing the long-term promotion and converting goals of your marketing.
Focus on localization
All future marketing strategies in a post-COVID world need to take into consideration the rate at which recovery is happening not just across the world, but in individual countries.
Universal advertising will be irrelevant in the days immediately after the virus. Different messages will mean different things to unique audience. You cannot make content that looks to celebrate defeating the virus available to a region that is still suffering significantly. It is insensitive and will tarnish the respectability and perceived competency of your brand.
Either try and keep your content more general or be hyper-specific in your location. If you want to run an after-COVID paid social campaign, for example, make sure you’re only targeting areas where recovery has been successful and you’re ready to pause it should the worst happen.
While celebrating national success may sound like a great opportunity to balance showing appreciation with brand exposure, this can, especially online, backfire pretty dramatically if you’re not hyper-specific in your execution.
Stick with online services
Despite it feeling like we’re all scratching at the walls looking for an escape from lockdown, it won’t be as simple as everyone rushing back into normal life once it’s lifted.
Not only will there be significant social distancing measures in place, but people’s attitudes and outlook will have changed. People have not just considered what they value, but there will be a residual fear of the virus.
Online services, be it video chat allowing you to talk to your family or an ecommerce store that can keep you stock up throughout lockdown, have shown their worth throughout this pandemic. With people reluctant to dive into normality once again, there will still be a need for these businesses.
All of this is to say you shouldn’t abandon any online services you’ve developed just yet. It’ll be wise to continue promoting these products and services even after coronavirus. Forced exposure to them has only increased interest from the average consumer and business.
Take Zoom as an example. People may be sick of video chats by the time this is all over, but businesses will still find practical uses in it as we return to normality, now aware of a tool that allows them to better connect with business partners abroad and open people up to new types of remote working options.
Likewise, many businesses may stick with remote working for the foreseeable future. This allows you to tweak your marketing, rather than fully pivot it, to just reflect the usefulness of your products and services, rather than play into the whole lockdown and remote working narrative. You don’t need to fully re-think your strategy straight away.
Consider scheduling changes
With efforts to return to normality likely to be slow, you need to consider how you’re going to schedule your content and try and capture attention online.
Before COVID, you were able to research when people were most likely online to try and capture their attention in the most effective way. Numerous studies had been conducted across all the major social platforms, showing when someone was most likely be susceptible to a Facebook video, Twitter Poll or Instagram influencer story.
A lot of these results were determined by pre-COVID schedules. People would commute to and from work roughly at the same time. They’d relax on the couch and browse social media for a bit most evenings. They may be more likely to buy something at a weekend when they have time to sit down and consider the item. That’s all out the window now, and may not be back for a while.
Likewise, people are also going to be spending more time catching up with loved ones if they do choose to go out. There are arguments to suggest that coronavirus could be the end of abject consumerism, and that marketers will have to be more creative in their efforts to draw people away from personal connections and back to social platforms to witness content and advertising.
To acclimatize to the new reality of your customer base you need to either conduct new audience research or find new avenues to reach your base in. A post-COVID strategy will be reflective of new lifestyles, slowly easing itself back into traditional timings. Consider experimenting with new approaches in your advertising, such as Google paid campaigns that can catch search audiences looking for something specific, rather than casting a wide net across social media.
Marketing in a post-COVID world will be challenging, there’s no doubt about that. It won’t be an impossible task though. It will require more audience research and tactile reading of public mood than ever before. Be prepared to backtrack at points and be cautious when taking risks.
Rodney Laws has more than a decade of experience providing marketing advice to online entrepreneurs and businesses. He’s set up and marketed his own businesses and consulted on crafting campaigns for established companies. See what Rodney can do to help you or your business by heading over to EcommercePlatforms.io and visiting @EcomPlatformsio for even more news and views on marketing as an ecommerce brand.
Video marketing statistics are super important when planning your marketing strategy.
There is a ton of data available online, but not all of it is up to date. And being “up to date” is very important in the fast-changing world of digital marketing.
We gathered the most recent data we could find about video content and you can find it all below.
We’re almost halfway through the year. It hasn’t panned out the way we thought. But, we can still make it work.
Facing a lockdown, many of us have realized the importance of video content. Its power not only to entertain but also to unite and educate has shown that video content in its various forms is the future of online marketing.
Luckily for us, I did not see any decrease in the demand for our video editing services, so that’s one thing to be happy about.
If you haven’t done before, now is the right time to invest in video marketing. For those who are already using video content; it’s time to redouble your efforts.
Are you in two minds? Unsure whether to invest in video marketing?
Today, we share important video marketing statistics that’ll show investing in video content will prove to be the best decision you’ll make in 2020, or, the second-best after social distancing.
We’ll highlight the popularity of video content among marketers and consumers. Moreover, we’ll look at the predictions and plans that the brands, businesses, and video marketers have for this type of content. Finally, draw attention to social media and video channels that are doing well and those that have huge potential going forward.
This is the only resource you need to stay up-to-date and stay on top of the video marketing game.
Why is Video Marketing Important?
People are leaning towards online video content more than ever before. The numbers are there for everyone to see:
According to Cisco, soon 82% of all web traffic will move towards video content.
In 2021, an average person will spend as much as 100 minutes of his/her everyday life watching videos online.
Users are twice as likely to share videos compared to other content types.
54% of people want to see more video content in 2020.
In the United States, 56% of the young ones (8 to 12-year-olds) and 66% of the teens (13 to 19-year-olds) view videos online every day.
Bottom Line: In 2019, people spent 84 minutes a day watching online videos. The data shows, we can expect a 19% increase in time spent on videos in just 2 years.
The Head of Forecasting at Zenith, Jonathan Barnard, agrees that online video consumption has rapidly increased. Users now spend on online videos more than half of the time that they normally devote to regular television programs.
According to him, the boost in viewership has increased the demand for video marketers.
The demand for advertisers and the increase in expenditure shows that at present video marketing is the fast-growing digital channel.
Video Marketing and Return of Interest (ROI)
Video marketers seem to be real gung-ho about including video in their marketing plan for 2020.
But, is it really worth spending time, money, and effort? The following statistics seem to suggest that it is.
89% of marketers say using video content increases their ROI.
87% of all marketers say using video content has helped drive traffic to their website.
83% of all marketers feel using videos improves lead generation.
80% of marketers feel video content has increased their sales.
Bottom Line: The majority of video marketers are obsessed with videos for a reason.
No one can deny the benefits of video content in promoting and marketing brands and businesses.
For example, SAP received millions of impressions after their video marketing campaign.
Further, a marketing campaign with heavy video content helped Tiger Fitness achieve a 60% repeat customer rate, which is 3x times the industry average.
Video Marketing: Who Is Using It?
Let’s not assume anything. It’s best to start from scratch. How widespread is video marketing? Who is using it and their plans for the future?
As high as 92% of all marketers agree that video content is a vital part of their marketing strategy.
66% of B2C marketers have used video content in their marketing strategy.
71% of B2B marketers have used video content in their marketing strategy.
99% of marketers that are already using video marketing will continue to do so in 2020.
59% of marketers who did not use video marketing in 2019, said they’ll make it part of their marketing strategy in 2020.
95% of marketers say they will maintain or even increase the spending on video marketing.
Bottom Line: In 2020 and beyond, two-thirds of marketers are planning to use video marketing.
You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. But, bear in mind, the competition for user attention is going to be fierce.
To beat the competition, make sure you learn your customer behavior and their decision-making process.
How Does Video Content Help Brands and Businesses?
Video Marketing Promotes Brand Awareness
Compared to other marketing channels, video content is more popular, engaging, and memorable, which is why it’s the right tool to promote brand awareness.
Here are the numbers to back that up.
People will spend 88% more time on a website with video content.
72% of consumers prefer video to text content while researching a product or service.
53% of people engage with a brand after watching one of their videos on social media.
68% of consumers prefer to engage with brands that use video.
96% of people view explainer video to understand a product or service.
Bottom Line: The first and perhaps the most important influencer that drives the sales process is none other than Brand Awareness.
It isn’t enough that the customers know your name. Customers also want to know the values you stand for.
No other content type, except videos, give businesses the opportunity and freedom to get creative and develop quality content that best explains their vision and mission to the customers.
Video Marketing Helps Generate Leads
From the above statistics, we know that video marketing promotes brand awareness. Does it also generate leads? Yes, here are the key numbers you should know:
81% of video marketers state videos help generate leads.
84% of video marketers state videos boost traffic to their website.
80% of video marketers say that videos increased the time visitors spend on the website.
41% of video marketers say the use of videos has led to lesser support calls.
Bottom Line: Videos, even the short ones, give you the opening needed to move the customers along the sales funnel. For example, a short 30-second introduction video from Campaign Monitor explains the benefits of signing up with them.
How do marketers use such videos for lead generation?
Marketers encourage customers to use the link provided in the video description to visit an e-mail opt-in landing page.
Marketers send a thank you message to viewers who have shared, reacted, or commented on the video. Along with the ‘Thank You’ message, they encourage viewers to subscribe to their newsletter.
Video Marketing Boosts Sales
All the effort a marketer makes is directly or indirectly aimed at driving sales. And, as the stats show, video marketing helps generate sales.
84% of consumers have made up their mind to purchase a product or service after viewing a brand’s video.
74% of consumers have made up their mind to download or buy an app or software after viewing a video.
At least 55% of people engaged in shopping watch videos while in the store.
Bottom Line: Brands believe that interacting and connecting with their customers will boost trust and pave way for more sales.
A good example, Adobe found that people who watch demo videos of their products are 1.8x times more likely to buy, than those who don’t.
What Does the Video Marketing Statistics Say about Customer Behavior and Preferences?
Only good, creative, and personalized content resonates with the customers.
Millions of videos and billions of hours of content are added to the online pool every day. You need to stand out from the crowd.
For that, video marketers need to provide content that’s personalized and tailored to their individual tastes, needs, and preferences.
Why Personalized Video Is the New Mantra in Video Marketing?
60% of all marketers say the personalization of video content will improve the quality of the leads.
48% of people want videos to reflect the products or services they are interested in.
72% of people say they will only show interest in personalized video content.
43% of consumers want to decide what videos they want to watch and when to watch.
Plus, apart from brand awareness, an explainer video is a great way to generate leads and increase sales.
What Do the Statistics Say about Video Orientation and Features?
39% of the marketers now go for square or vertical videos as compared to horizontal videos.
82% of consumers are put off by videos that are not optimized to their preferred orientation.
75% of consumers say they didn’t purchase a product due to annoying video voiceover.
83% of consumers prefer chatty and informal tone in the videos.
92% of people want to view video content with the sound off.
50% of people say that captions for videos are a must because they watch without sound.
According to Verizon, 55% of consumers want captions for tips videos, 53% want captions for food and 52% want captions for news videos.
Bottom Line: Most social media platforms have adopted square or vertical video orientation.
The reason is simple, 94% of the users hold their mobile vertically and 57% of all video views are on a hand-held device.
Next to the script and quality of the video, the tone and voice style are the most important factors that determine the success of a video. This is clearly reflected in the video marketing statistics.
Even if you have a great video in your hands, with an excellent script and casual, informal, and friendly tone, there is always a way to make it better.
One of the best video tips for marketers is to add captions. Customers like captions because it improves accessibility, boost SEO, and help the audience better understand the content.
What Other Video Marketing Tactics have Gained Traction among Customers and Marketers?
According to Magnifyre, the viewership of 360-degree video was 29% higher than regular video.
The Click-through Rate (CTR) of a 360-degree video was 4.51%, whereas the CTR of the regular video was only 0.56%.
15% of all marketers plan to use 360-degree videos for marketing in 2020.
57% of all marketers are using live videos; of which, nearly 34% of marketers use Facebook Live and 13% use Instagram Live feature.
79% of consumers feel live videos make the content more authentic and 63% feel live videos add a human touch to marketing.
21% of marketers say they’ll use interactive video in 2020.
12% of marketers say they’ll use Virtual Reality (VR) for video marketing in 2020.
Bottom Line: Use of 360-degree, Virtual Reality, and Live videos are a great way to increase viewer count, engage with customers and make them stay longer, retain their attention, develop a relationship, and, most importantly, offer them a unique experience.
These new marketing techniques also help the brand stand out from the crowd.
The Importance of Having Videos on Social Media Platforms
Most social media networks, except YouTube, started out as text-rich networks.
Lately, video content has gate-crashed their party. There has been an explosion of video content on almost all social networks.
As you’ll find out soon, after reading the statistics which are to follow, the numbers are huge.
Social Media is indispensable for video marketing because that’s where a large percentage of the online population spends their time every day.
Besides, videos and social media are good examples of a mutualistic relationship.
58% of people visit the social media page of a brand before accessing the brand’s website.
60% of users who bought a product learn about the brand from social media.
Compared to last year, 24% of users are buying a product or service because of ads on social media platforms.
YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram are the top three purchase-driving social media platforms.
Why should you Use YouTube for Video Marketing?
Each day, 1.5 billion people watch 1 billion hours of video on YouTube
65% of senior executives access the website after watching a related YouTube video.
85% of all marketers have used YouTube in 2019 for video marketing.
83% of marketers feel YouTube has boosted their marketing efforts.
On YouTube, there has been a 70% increase in users who search for ‘How-to’ videos.
In the past two years alone, the number of people viewing shopping-related video content on YouTube has increased 5 times.
In a week, compared to all cable TV networks, YouTube reaches more people in the 18 to 49-year-old age group.
Bottom Line: YouTube is still the best platform for video marketing. In addition, YouTube also helps brands improve SEO, gain authority, and build trust. Although YouTube is the natural home of the video content, there are many ways to market videos without YouTube. Here are other social media platforms for videos.
Why Use Videos on Facebook?
On average, nearly 8 billion videos are viewed on Facebook every day.
79% of marketers say they use Facebook for video marketing and 85% of them feel the move has been successful.
75 million people use the Facebook Video platform on a daily bases.
60% of the users don’t go beyond the two-minute mark to watch a video.
65% of people say they skip the video if the first ten seconds doesn’t interest them.
81% of businesses say they like to use the social media platform (Facebook) for their video marketing.
Bottom Line: Let’s start with the obvious reason. At any given time, millions of people around the world use Facebook. If you want your brand to be right under the noses of your target audience, then Facebook is the platform to use. Plus, having your videos on Facebook increases their chance of going viral.
What Do the Statistics Say about Using Videos on Instagram?
Instagram has nearly 800 million active monthly users.
72% of people buy a product after viewing a video on Instagram.
75% of people take action after watching a brand video on Instagram.
65% of ad impressions on the platform come from video content.
Bottom Line: Research shows that customers have expressed interest in knowing a brand after watching a video on Instagram Stories. On top, many brands have seen a spike in sales thanks to the video content on the platform.
Why Use LinkedIn for Video Marketing?
51% of all marketers said they use LinkedIn for video marketing.
87% of video marketers who used LinkedIn say the platform proved to be a successful channel for video marketing in 2019.
Videos on the company page produce 5 times more engagement in comparison to other content types.
Bottom Line: LinkedIn is a platform for professionals, entrepreneurs, and businesses. The platform was created for building relationships between these three categories of people. As you see in the stats, LinkedIn is a great place to connect with others, present your brand, tell your story, and spread awareness about your product, service, or brand. Moreover, brands can boost their popularity and trustworthiness by displaying customer testimonials on their LinkedIn business page.
How Does Twitter Help in Video Marketing?
Although Twitter is a text-based platform, 82% of people say they mainly view videos on the platform.
72% of marketers use Twitter for video marketing and 84% say this strategy is working for them.
90% of all videos on Twitter are watched using hand-held devices.
45% of people using Twitter want more celebrity videos.
Bottom Line: Twitter can be used to share small snippets or teasers of larger videos. Twitter videos are ideal for generating hype and interest in a product or business.
Should You Be Using Snapchat for Video Marketing?
In 2019, only 11% of the video marketers have used Snapchat and less than 50% of them have benefited from using the platform.
10 billion videos are watched on Snapchat every day.
On average, 25 minutes of video content is consumed daily on Snapchat.
Bottom Line: Video marketers haven’t really gravitated towards this platform because Snapchat accepts videos that are only 10 seconds long. Hence, regular videos won’t fit in this platform.
What Do the Statistics Say About Other Platforms?
TikTok remains underused with only 10% of all video marketers using the platform and 66% of them tasting success.
15% of all marketers say they’ll use TikTok for video marketing in 2020.
79% of all marketers that have used video channels say they have benefited from the move.
Dice and slice, and analyze these video marketing statistics in every possible way. All the hard facts and figures needed to frame a video marketing strategy for 2020 and beyond is here.
If you want to reach the top of the marketing game or stay up there, it isn’t enough to simply create videos. You need to know ‘what type of videos to create?’, ‘when to create?’, ‘whom to target?’, ‘where to use?’, ‘when to use?’ Etc. The answers to all your queries are in these statistics.
Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media – a company offering video
editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, video production
studios or brands all over the globe. I can catch up with him on hisblog or onLinkedIn.
I’ve already explained why I predict 2020 will be the year of the customer. The traditional, tried-and-true marketing methods of getting people to know about your brand and buy your products are no longer as effective as they once were. Successful marketing strategies in 2020 and beyond will focus on creating great customer experiences and building relationships with your audience.
This shift has already been happening for a while, but not all businesses have fully embraced this new way of thinking about marketing. We’re now at the start of the New Year, and it’s a great time to be thinking ahead and making strategic decisions for your business that will bring positive returns.
If your business is not yet putting your customers at the heart of your marketing strategy, now is the time to make the change. And if you think your strategy is already customer-driven, it may well be worth reviewing the process anyway. Many businesses claim that they have their customers’ best interests at heart, but their marketing strategy says something different.
Concentrate on providing great customer experiences, and most of the hard work of marketing is done for you.
Rather than creating products first and seeking out customers later, think about your customers first and use their needs to help you develop products they actually want.
Knowing and understanding your customers is critical to the success of this strategy. Collect data from several different channels and sources to build up a clear picture of who exactly your target market is.
Customer-first marketing goes beyond the responsibilities of the marketing team. Everyone in the company must understand how to provide great customer service and experiences.
What Is a Customer-Driven Marketing Strategy?
Let’s start by going back to basics: what exactly is a customer-driven marketing strategy?
Rather than thinking about your business or your products and how you’re going to market them, you start by thinking about your customers: Who are they? What makes them tick? How can you help solve their problems?
By shifting the focus away from your brand and onto the customer, you ensure you’re meeting their needs. Over time this builds strong customer relationships and builds brand loyalty as you’re demonstrating that you’re working to create better solutions for them and not simply trying to make money out of them.
So this approach means thinking about your customers and their needs before you do anything else. In fact, you’ll soon realize that this strategy goes way beyond marketing. When you consider your customers’ challenges, motivations, and desires first, it affects the entire way you run your business. A customer-driven strategy means you’ll be creating products and services that your customers actually want and need rather than what you think they want.
1. Identify Your Target Market
You can’t serve your customers if you don’t really know who they are, so the first and most crucial step of building your marketing strategy is to define your market and segment it so you can target each group more effectively.
Depending on your brand and business, you may be targeting one small market segment or several segments with varying needs and characteristics. You might have a good idea of who your customer base is already, but don’t make assumptions. It’s important to carry out thorough market research from a number of sources, including web and social analytics, studying competitors, your own customer databases, and customer surveys in order to build up a true picture of the demographics and needs of each market.
Once you have the data, creating a customer avatar or buyer persona for each target market is the next step. This is a text and visual summary of the average “ideal” customer you’re targeting in each market segment. This can really help you to create marketing materials that resonate with your audience as you have a detailed image in mind of who you’re trying to reach with your marketing messages.
2. Create Solutions for Your Customers’ Needs
Your initial customer research should inform you about what your customers actually want. You can then use this market intelligence to develop products and services to meet their needs. This approach is of course the opposite to what many businesses do, which is deciding on their products and services first and then seeking out customers to buy them!
With a customer-first strategy, advertising and traditional marketing methods are no longer needed because you don’t have to hunt out your customers – they’re already right there telling you what you want. As long as you really listen to what they have to say, the hard work is done.
3. Use Customer Feedback to Improve Your Offering
Tools such as live chat and online feedback forums can be a valuable way to communicate with your customers.
Using customer feedback and requests will not only help you to create better products and services in the future, but demonstrating to your customers that you’re listening to their opinion and that it actually matters is a powerful way to build trust and loyalty.
Because customer communication is such a vital part of a customer-driven marketing strategy, your customer service team becomes integral to your overall marketing plan. Ensuring that every person in the company who interacts with customers in any way offers an excellent customer experience brings benefits to both sides. The customer gets the help they need and enjoys positive interactions with your team, and your business builds a better brand reputation and learns more about how to create better products.
When your customers are happy with what they buy from you and how they communicate with you, they’ll tell their friends. And this word-of-mouth marketing can be more powerful and have a bigger and longer-lasting impact than any type of advertising or SEO campaign.
If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content that’s consistently published, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today and generate more traffic and leads for your business.