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Outdated Versus Innovative Marketing Strategies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.

Authenticity

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.

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