A common mistake that many businesses make when they market their business online is approaching digital marketing the same way they would traditional marketing. When in reality, the two are very different.
Unlike traditional advertising that often expects a direct response from the customer, marketing your business online (digital marketing) calls for a different approach; one that focuses on giving before receiving.
Many businesses, big and small, struggle to gain a loyal following because they’re focused on short-term results alone. They buy social media followers, make false and exaggerated product claims, get pushy with sales, and focus on making constant noise and disrupting people’s everyday lives.
Those tactics may have worked 10 or 20 years ago when consumers had less of a say in the way products were marketed to them, but nowadays those tactics wouldn’t fly, especially for businesses that haven’t established their brand yet.
A More Effective Approach to Market Your Business Online
Instead of focusing on short-term results like instant sales, the number of social media followers, and fast profit. Think of your digital marketing as a long-term marketing tool.
Even better, don’t think of it as marketing at all. Think of it as a way to create value for society and connect with more like-minded friends.
What can you offer the world in exchange for their loyalty, support, and respect?
Date Your Customers to Earn Their Trust
When you’re searching for a romantic partner, you don’t go around harassing people, playing games to win them over.
You talk to potential partners; get to know them; befriend them.
First, your eyes meet. Maybe you’ll find something in common like the fact that he/she is wearing hiking boots. And you like the outdoors too. Score!
You ask them about their favorite hiking spot. Their response gives you more clues about their personality and the type of person they are. So, you keep the conversation going.
Now that you have a better idea of what they’re like, you know where to take them on your first date.
Halfway through your first date/outdoor trip, you both realize that you like each other and want to continue seeing each other. So, you make it happen again.
And so it goes, with every date you build your relationship together; one step at a time.
If you both played the right cards, you may just end up lifelong partners.
Don’t Just Swipe Right
Now, imagine if you disregarded who that person was and only thought of them as a means to an end. You just wanted to get hitched, so you bluntly approached every prospect in town.
A married man/woman? Swipe right.
Someone much older/younger than you? Swipe right.
A predator? Swipe right.
Someone you have nothing in common with and will probably never be able to have a decent conversation with? Swipe right.
And you repeat that process day in and day out.
Soon enough, the whole town is going to label you as a trickster with no morals. You will lose your value as a person even if you had a shiny resume and a ton of money in the bank.
You might get a few dates now and then, but the probability of meeting your ideal partner and forming a strong lasting connection with them diminishes every time you employ one of your “dating tricks”.
Ultimately, your ideal partner would get the memo to stay away from you, and your one-night stands would be just that — one-night stands.
Creating Long-Term Relationships with Your Customers
Just like making the right decisions to maintain a good relationship with your partner for long-term happiness, if you want to see your business grow and thrive in the long run, you need to form meaningful relationships with loyal customers that like your brand and what it represents.
To gain loyal customers, your business needs to be honest and authentic with its audience; communicating its core values across all marketing channels at all times.
How you communicate with them matters, especially if you’re using content marketing. A few things to keep in mind:
You can’t please everyone
Choose a segment of the market that represents your ideal customers.
Do your research
What are their likes, dislikes, problems, ambitions; how they’d like to be reached.
Adjust your tone
How would they like to be spoken to? Do they prefer casual or formal language?
Think of your customers like friends you’re trying to share interesting stuff with. Avoid spamming and sharing irrelevant things.
Talk, don’t shout
If they’re interested in your brand, they will be intrigued as soon as they come across your content. You don’t need to force pop-ups and click-baits all over the place.
Want to communicate the right message and create long-lasting relationships with your customers but you’re not sure where to start? These articles might help:
- What is Ethical Marketing and Why Brands Need It
- Creating with Purpose Attracts the Right Audience
- 4 Things You Should Know About Video Marketing
- Instant Bread: Why Every Business Needs a Purpose