The essential technique of traditional marketing is to tell the consumer what you think they need to know. Times change – the digital world has changed the way consumers make their purchasing decisions.
No longer are consumers prepared to passively sit back and unquestioningly take it all in from newspaper, radio and tv adverts. They want to, they need to engage, so advertisers must adapt to meet these new needs by giving customers relevant and valuable content, with the aim of changing their consumer behaviour – no longer the hard sell, this is more subtle. It’s called content marketing.
Amongst many definitions, the one that strikes a chord here is that “instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty” (read the full article here)
Big business has taken this strategy to their hearts, but we believe it is as relevant to the small business. Every business has stories to tell, about their history, their evolution, their products and services, customers, staff, their interests outside of work – it’s these stories which engage your customers. This is called a content strategy.
Whilst big business have the resources to undertake big promotion campaigns, small business has to be smarter and use more limited marketing budgets to achieve the biggest impact. Print, tv and radio advertising is expensive and has high risk with limited means to measure its effectiveness. For the business with a local focus, customer loyalty and word of mouth are critical, but are achievable.
How you tell your stories depends on who your customers are, and where they look for information and entertainment. You then develop ways of telling your stories to suit your customers’ behaviour patterns – and because we live in a digital world, you also need to inhabit that environment with a social media strategy.
We believe that not only is marketing through social media cost effective, it is also measurable. We use social media to do content marketing on your behalf by bringing your stories to the attention of your customers in a way that they will find interesting, and encourage them to engage in order to develop loyalty and business for you.