Marketing for a New World
by Alison Schroeder
Inbound marketing works to solve, not sell. The focus is notable because it’s different from traditional marketing and advertising. In the past five years, the number of marketing technology companies has grown by 2,500 percent. Even adding the word technology as part of the identity of marketing companies and agencies is different. It’s a digital world, and its inhabitants have changed. This is marketing for a new world.
Content that Connects
Again, inbound marketing is about the solve, not the sell. Pushy content that screams my product is the best, or use us, not them! is too impersonal. It gets ignored. When users take to the Internet, it isn’t to face a barrage of advertisements or gimmicks. It’s to look for resources, conduct research, and to give their problem both a name and a solution. When you shift your mentality from having to be users’ choice to potentially being the company they need, you are marketing for a new world. 81 percent of shoppers conduct online research before buying. Consumers looking for anything from college courses to apartments to vehicles take to Google first. How do you compete with that?
You don’t. Not necessarily. Having an online presence that makes the best first impression on people is key, and you should focus around that concept as you market for a new world. What will entice your user and focus on their problem is content. And, content that connects. Users want a connection with brands, and that can be achieved through customer-driven and personalized marketing. So, you don’t need to tell your target audience or users that you are the best or meet their needs better than competitors. They will arrive at that conclusion on their own. Create content with them in mind, so when they are ready to access it, they can find it instead of waiting for it.
Quick & Educational Information
In today’s world of marketing, users rely on the Internet to fix their problems, and relatively quickly. By establishing your brand as one that is pro-solution, you’re also establishing yourself as a leader or expert. The more you can provide to users who are searching for answers, the better their experience with you will be. This creates brand recognition. If you are continually sharing valuable content on your blog, through email marketing, or on your social platforms, eventually users will come straight to the source when they’re ready. An example is Williams Integracare Clinic. Their providers blog on topics that span chiropractic, family practice, and physical therapy realms. In addition to blogging, they create other content that benefits users, like a downloadable 15 minute workout. How does this relate to the clinic? It’s quick information that educates users, and gives them something valuable that benefits them. Even if the user doesn’t submit an appointment request that day, they did have a positive interaction with the clinic’s brand and are more apt to return when they are ready.
Because users want information that is specific to them and educates them on the problems or questions they have, you have to market your brand this way. Content developed to support this change in marketing strategy connects readers and builds trust.
Another big part of modern marketing is sharing your story. Human-to-human connection is the heart and soul of business. Your business or service solves problems and alleviates pain. While storytelling is an age-old practice, it’s still effective to bring people together and keep them engaged. Storytelling is old. But it’s still relevant and necessary in today’s marketing landscape. Back to competing with the results Google provides users searching for specific information. You don’t have to compete in a traditional sense, pitting yourself against competition. But you do have to capture your user’s attention. How do you do that? With your story. The three most effective content marketing concepts – aka marketing for a new world – include:
Getting to the Point
Grab people’s attention. Don’t be fancy.
Use Emotional Keywords or Phrases
Give users what they want. Then facilitate what they need as content unfolds.
Leverage Powerful Stories
Stories develop relationships with people. People have to like you, and trust you. Over the Internet!
Telling your story isn’t about you. It’s about your audience. They are seeking resource and solution, and will turn to your company if they feel like they know you and trust you. Your content is a surefire way to expose yourself to users no matter where they’re at in their journey.
How people define their problems and identify solutions is different today. In order to be a key component of that equation, you must alter your traditional or stale marketing efforts. Tailoring your online presence to match their expectations of brand engagement and personalized marketing is key. Sharing your story, and doing so in a compelling, natural way is another way to appeal to today's consumers.
Topics: Inbound Marketing