Marketing has become very dynamic. There was a time when we thought a billboard could do all the work to sell our products, but like every other aspect of our lives, technology has changed it forever.
We have not only improved the way we create advertisements, but we have also made an impact on the way people buy our products. Now, the ideal way to increase sales is to be where your consumers are, and that’s not necessarily a physical place.
Outdated Versus Innovative Marketing Strategies
Digital marketing, like every other form of marketing, is in constant change. The days of leaning on print magazines or billboards for business advertisements, thinking they alone could generate enough buyers for a company to be successful, are gone.
Not long ago, companies became successful by explicitly showing their products, telling us how they would solve our problems and constantly promoting how they were better than the competition. Nowadays, people trust other consumers more than they trust direct brand advertisements. In some ways, the mission now is understanding that people don’t want to buy something that is obviously displayed as a product.
Every day, companies are creating new ways to make people feel like they want their products — or even better, like they actually need them. Consumers want to make their own choices and buy what they buy for personal reasons. According to research from ODM Group, over 70% of consumers consult social media before making a purchase. So, people don’t always choose by themselves when buying something. They often want to know what others think first.
Here are two strategies I’ve found to be effective to sell your product or service in a more subtle way:
• Tell stories. Reliving moments from someone else’s experience, watching real-life scenarios or sharing content that’s interesting, unusual, shocking or emotional can help to create consumer engagement with your brand. Nike does a great job of promoting its products with storytelling. The brand incorporates videos into its social strategy, featuring humble and empowering stories from strangers, athletes and celebrities, like this one. When done well, this approach can create an emotional connection with a brand.
• Leverage reviews. For some reason, we choose to believe the advice from strangers. According to a BrightLocal survey, “85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” Establish a channel for reviews on your social media platforms. It’s a helpful, authentic way for consumers to get to know more about your company.
Another current trend in marketing is spontaneously generated buzz. The key driver is authenticity, which is one of the reasons why influencers are so popular right now.
To increase audience engagement, brands must now focus on showing, not telling. If you embrace authenticity, your customers can help do your marketing for you. One way to create that kind of genuine passion for your brand is by choosing the right personas to portray your product.
According to Cisco, by 2021, 80% of online content will be video. This not only means continued opportunities for YouTube influencers, but it’s also likely that authenticity and charisma will be more profitable than ever.
How can you leverage personas more authentically?
• Measure ROI with links/promo codes. One of the best ways to track if the influencer you selected is profitable is by giving them tracking links or coupon codes. At the end of each month, you can track the number of sales attributed to the influencer.
• Choose someone who knows about the field. You need to be careful and find someone who has similar characteristics to your audience. Everyone wants a credible opinion to feel related to a brand and buy. According to research, 82% of consumers are “highly likely” to follow the recommendation of a micro-influencer.
The Downside Of Digital
Nowadays, there’s almost as much content being created every day as there are competitors fighting to be on top of buyers’ minds. A typical mistake I see that can make brands lose potential customers is creating too much content. Just like the billboards from decades ago, people get bored when there’s too much of the same.
The good news is that digital marketing is super fluid and that means you still have the chance to renew your strategy. I’d recommend releasing content 2–3 times per week. Remember that producing a few high-quality pieces of content is better than oversaturating your audience.
The Evolution Of Digital Marketing
We need to change the customer shopping experience. More than the first stage of delight, people like to feel appreciated all of the time. You need to improve strategies for your potential customers as much as for your current ones.
The marketing process now indicates that the selling/buying system is based on a flywheel. The old, funnel-like system seemed to only care about customers before they bought. After the buying process, they weren’t a priority to help with the company’s culture, customer service or marketing strategy. The flywheel system is based on the ability of our clients to give us feedback at all times: before, during and after buying.
We live in a moment in history when technology can help us in bringing more and better audiences to like our products. It’s easier to get to more people, but it’s important to realize that not all of them will be interested in your company.