Yellow pages ads? Not so often anymore. Direct mail? Less and less. Online searches? Absolutely.
There’s no doubt the rules have changed in the past five years concerning how prospective customers find you and decide to take action. Today your most valuable business marketing strategy includes a deliberate and purposeful use of blogs, social media and a website with fresh and appealing content.
Even though they’ve opened up new dimensions for customer outreach, the new online tools still reflect what hasn’t changed: customers want a relationship with you, and they respond when they feel a connection with your brand. Still, many organizations are camped on the thought “I can’t afford to market my business” – a concept grounded in popular myths about content marketing:
1) Myth: It takes too much time and manpower to market my business. Reality: The time you spend helping customers get acquainted with your business and building relationships with them allows you to actually make more money. Many online content creation tools are not high-cost and can be scheduled out ahead of time. Investing in marketing your business is like buying new computers or other materials: it’s a necessary tool to get the job done.
2) Myth: I have three decades of good reputation on the table, so I don’t need to invest in marketing my business. Reality: Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools your brand has to edge out competitors – and word of mouth is also one of the strongest outcomes you can generate across social media tools like Facebook and Pinterest. People not only post about brands and products, but they talk about their posts and make recommendations to their peers based on what they see online. Social media is fuel for this kind of peer-to-peer power, and can create this kind of buzz about your company within all new demographics, as well as reawaken existing customers to the reasons you’re great.
3) Myth: I don’t see how promoting my business online results in a payoff. Reality: A recent article demonstrates the reality of online marketing and content creation, stating that around 80 percent of individuals who are less than 65 years old actively use online sources. Among those users, almost 100 percent said they go online to find information about services or products they will acquire from local organizations.
4) Myth: I’m online with a company site, and that means I’m done with building my online presence. Reality: Could you sell a house without ever having buyers come inside? The reality of content marketing is that it allows the distinct keywords and phrases to drive traffic to your storefront or website. Without a strategy that includes keywords, blogs, planned social media activity, it’s like trying to sell a house without ever inviting buyers in the door. It’s one thing to have a site that sits on the web, but it’s another thing to actively encourage people to use it.
Engaging in some brainstorming, developing a clear strategy and a mapping out a plan for measuring the results can paint a clear picture of why investing in marketing is not only beneficial, it’s simpler than you may think — and it pays off.