Consumers do not like “hard sell” advertising.
When I was young, there was no such thing as a remote control with a “mute” button. When the ads came on, it was time for us to go get a snack, use the bathroom, let the dog out, or throw the laundry into the dryer.
Today, of course, we just press the mute button and wait for the show to resume.
It’s a bit tougher in cars, but there is always that “scan” or “search” button to switch to another station in the hopes that music is playing.
The point is, we are tired of it all, and traditional internet marketing/sales is no different.
I don’t even look at the ads showing up on social media sites, on Google, or to the sides of articles I may be reading – just not interested!
If I want to buy something online, I’ll search for the product and make a choice, once I read the product information on each competitive site!
And I truly hate the promotions and discounts that require me to provide my email address, gender, age, etc., just to get a free sample or a sale price!
And when I do search a site for a product, all of a sudden, that site and the product I looked at shows up on my Facebook page!
You probably are using some of the Internet marketing strategies that are irritating your potential customers. You are also probably using the traditional marketing tools (keywords, tags, etc.) to drive traffic to your site, but you need to understand that these, too, will soon be a thing of the past. Internet consumers today want content not “hype,” and you had better get on this “bandwagon!”
You Need Content Management as a Marketing Strategy
Are you an expert on the product or service you are selling? You had better be, because potential customers expect you to be. What are you doing to prove that you are such an expert? Keywords and tags will not do so!
You need content, and lots of it, in the following venues:
- You need a blog on your website, with lots of guest blogs on it. Conduct your own search and find who the top bloggers are in your business niche. Offer to send them a free product if they will write a review blog on your site, and post it on theirs as well. Many will take you up on this.
- Produce an e-guide, or pay someone to produce one for you. Offer it for free to any visitor; advertise it on social media sites.
- Develop a newsletter that is fun to read, full of high quality information, and put it “out there.”
- Offer Webinars and live presentations – and they cannot be boring or too long. I once began a webinar on investing, and clicked out after 5 minutes, because the presenter would not get to the point. Your potential customers are interest in high quality content, but they do not want to wait forever to get to the point!
- PowerPoint Presentations can be really effective if they are created by a real marketing professional
- Videos and Podcasts, again, can be really impactful, if they are masterfully produced.
- White papers are great so long as they are not a “product pitch.” Your goal here is to educate the consumer, have that consumer see you as a trusted, informed individual with expertise.
If you have not already surmised it, content management/marketing is all about building relationships with your potential/current customers. What you must do is provide value and relevancy within your content.
Hopefully, you have good demographics on your customer base, and certainly you know your product(s) and/or services better than anyone else. Bring your customers to you, not by touting your product or service but, rather by providing information your customer finds valuable. When you do this, you have a long-term customer, not just a one-time sale.
So, what can you expect for the future of content marketing?
A lot, actually. As this marketing strategy proves to be successful (and recent studies by some of the “big boys” show that it is), you can expect the following:
- You will have to become a content manager, or you will need to employ people who are.
People who can write creatively and engagingly will be in demand, and utilizing them will cost far less than all other forms of marketing.
- Software developers who are able to demonstrate the results of return on investment from content marketing will have a huge market.
- Content marketing will expand to mobile formatting – customers want their information when they want it.
As this happens, blogs and other informative content will become shorter and include sophisticated calls to action. Those entrepreneurs who still maintain brick and mortar establishments will have to engage in local content marketing, especially with mobile formats, providing creatively composed information and promotions.
Lest you still remain skeptical, and decide to continue to rely solely on keywords, tags, and great landing pages, consider that, as Hummingbird becomes entrenched, and as Google algorithms evolve, search results will be driven by content, not keywords.
Those who embrace this new concept will be the winners in the marketing game!
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