Especially in a competitive marketplace, the brand with the bigger budgets grabbed more air-time and therefore more attention. The web in itself shifted the balance, even in the early days. With cheaper platforms to advertise on, and an audience increasingly spread over more channels.
This was still just advertising, it was about the product and not the customer.
Balance of Power
Before I dive too deeply, I do agree that some traditional advertising still has its place. Though have you noticed that much of that advertising is now directing customers to social media platforms?
Social media is creeping in to every facet of our lives. It’s a communication channel for teenagers and a collaboration tool for co-workers, a research platform for government and a rally point for activists.
It’s being used to change opinions and topple regimes, the power of social media is something that touches all of us in some way. No wonder then that business, and therefore marketing, is affected by this shift.
Coping With Change
The issue facing marketers is, dealing with rapid change. Most will have been educated in a traditional sense, will be familiar with terms such as reach, brand awareness and CPM. Not all will be comfortable explaining Inbound Marketing, Hashtags or Edgerank.
Where they are used to buying out media, this no longer works as well in a space where relationships count, and engagement is the key to success.
This change is easy to make once you get the focus correct.
A Like Is Not Engagement
Don’t be fooled by cheap tricks.
Posting photos and video on Facebook can lead to an increase in shares and likes, but this isn’t real engagement. Running a competition on Twitter will gain more followers but does not mean they are actually engaged.
The only way people will engage with your brand is if you provide something of true value to them. In the words of my favourite motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Secrets of Closing the Sale – 1984.
Become A Solutions Provider
Moving from the features and benefits of products to solving customers problems can be all that is needed to create engagement.
If you want your marketing to succeed in the social media landscape you need to start thinking in terms of solutions.
- What problems can your product or service solve?
- What questions are your target audience asking in relation to your product or service?
- What information can you provide that goes some way to answering those questions?
Once you know the answers to these 3 questions improving customer engagement becomes easier. You are no longer interrupting them with your message, you are providing them with an answer to their question.
This in turn may lead to further questions, and if you are able to provide the answers, leads to deeper engagement, the growth of trust and the building of your authority.
Where To Find The Questions
The thing I love about social media is that you don’t need permission to help someone. Before the Internet it was much more difficult to find those that needed help, and matching those against your ability to provide an answer was even harder.
Now all you need to do is search on Twitter for someone asking relevant questions:
Questions about WordPress as an example.
If you have a customer facing department of any kind, get them to keep a list of questions they get asked on a regular basis, or keep a list yourself. You can also check Google using their Keyword Planner for questions people are typing in the search engine.
Armed with this list of questions write blog posts, produce YouTube videos, or audio podcasts if preferred, to provide the answers people are looking for. Share these via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn; link to them in reply to relevant questions you found in the social space.
Not only will customer engagement improve but sentiment towards you and your brand will become ever more positive.
Do something to help someone else today, without want for reward or recompense. Do it often enough and watch the engagement grow
If you would like to find our more about improving engagement with your customers call me today on +44 (0)7850957506.