Market like a 21st century business
Marketing tactics brands use to reach consumers have changed from the 20th C. Brands now have Owned, Earned and Paid media to use to share messages and engage their prospective customers. Your small business would be wise to structure your marketing tactics to include each of these in your strategic plan.
Critical to your success is the use a variety of marketing media and tactics. Be sure your marketing:
- Tells a unique story, not just tries to sell, sell, sell.
- Uses video. Video is the most consumed content in 2015 and will trend higher in 2016. Google is calling 2016 the year of the video.
- Has product reviews by users. Reviews and testimonials continue as strong components. If your website sells products, include the ability for your customers to review your products.
- Online sales continue to rise, so if you sell products and have only bricks and mortar, consider adding an online sales component of the most popular items in your store.
How do these key marketing tactics work for you?
- Storytelling and your brand. If you’ve not begun to use the stories native to your brand in your marketing, this finding indicates the power of storytelling with people Need help finding your story? In my recent article on mining your backstory for About.com, I’ve shared five tips on how to use storytelling in the development of your brand. If your brand is tired, or you find people fail to remember the essential benefits of your brand, it’s time to refresh it. Social media which is both an owned and earned medium, is the perfect place for sharing storified elements with your prospective customers.
- A video is worth a 1,000 words. We all agree that pictures help us see. So if still images help illustrate, how much more powerful is video? Clearly respondents said it’s important. Do you have videos on either YouTube or Vimeo? If not, why not? Video can be a demo, a how to, a screencast tutorial, or a purpose shot video. It can be created from stills and set to music with voice over. Video has a long shelf life and is both earned and owned, depending on the distribution channel and the virality.
- User product reviews. Far from being something to be frightened of, product reviews by users are an authentic, transparent way to allow your potential customers to learn more from the user’s point of view. The days of one-way marketing speak are done. Social media is the perfect channel to allow user reviews to be shared. In fact, This holiday season, 34% of holiday shoppers will read reviews using their mobile devices during shopping and more mobile devices are used to access social media every day. In Facebook, you can promote posts on your Facebook page that are testimonials, gaining increased traction. Recent data demonstrate that brands using both paid and non paid posts within Facebook are gaining increased engagement.
- In-store experiences. Face it, you don’t shop Costco only for the bargains. I won’t go on Saturday because of the crowds who choke the aisles as they cluster around the food demonstrators. If you’re a consumer packaged brand, you must use in-store demos to give buyers a chance to taste your product. But non CPG brands can also provide in-store demos. Sometimes we call them special events or open houses. If you’re a retail fashion store, casual modeling is a great way to demonstrate how you envision your customers wearing the fashions you sell. From cosmetics to cucumbers in the Farmer’s Market, there are ways to allow customers to taste, touch, and feel the items you have for sale. If you are an online only brand, think local partners to demonstrate in a town. Use alliances to get your products out front.
Pull, not push, show don’t tell, intrigue not scream
These days a wise business owner understands that there are many paths to the consumer, but the best path is the one that the consumer creates to get to you. Consumers respond to authentic stories and brands that others like and talk about. And consumers are more frugal than ever so they want to understand through first hand experience what they will get when they purchase your product. Integrate these tactics into your marketing plan for greater success.