Marketing is a business fundamental that isn’t always clear to beginners, because…What is marketing exactly? How is it different from sales? I get asked this question a lot.
Sales is a straightforward process and only includes the interactions in which you are getting your prospective customer to say “Yes.” Marketing is much harder to define because it is anything and everything you do to bring your product or service to your customer’s attention. And for you, as a small business owner, marketing is your opportunity to shine.
What is good marketing?
Thanks to the rise of digital culture, marketing is in a moment of explosive growth and change. The tools we use now were undreamed of back in the day. Not so long ago, genius marketing was a physical series of signs you’d pass on the roadside. Now marketing campaigns involve algorithms that know when you click on a Facebook ad and keep bringing that ad up on your timeline.
Of course, we all know when that pair of boots we liked on Facebook is following us around! We realize we’re the object of a campaign, and whether we resent it depends on how skillful the marketer is.
Great marketing now is based on the principles of respect, trust, and credibility. Here are ideas to keep in mind as you create a successful 21st-century marketing campaign.
Know how to use social media.
It’s estimated that 70% of the US population has a social media account right now, and each platform offers different strengths in reaching the target audience you want to hit. Unpaid social media can go a long way toward building your audience. And paid social media can turbocharge your reach and amplify your message even further.
Make the best use of the content you own.
It’s amazing how many words and pictures the internet devours every day. When so many other companies are striving to be noticed, staying visible can feel like a backbreaking job. But you don’t have to pay to commission new material for all those posts you’re suddenly responsible for creating. Look back at all the reports and ads you already have. They already reflect who you are, and they can be repurposed for free.
If you forget everything else, remember this! With a 24/7 global glare of attention on you and your brand, you will be caught in any less-than-true claim you make, and the bad vibes will be with you forever. Just be a good, straightforward representative of your brand. Live up to your promises, pursue excellence, serve your customers as well as you can, and keep letting the world know you’re ready to do the same for them.
Keep making your product or offer better, and share that journey with your customers.
In today’s competitive environment, there’s not one moment to sit back and relax. Ask your customers for feedback and value what they tell you. Your customers today will not just sit and let you talk to them. They want to talk back. And that means you have the opportunity to provide a customer experience that constantly improves.
Marketing can be your best friend or your worst enemy! Make sure you get friendly with some of the basics.