Make Marketing Work
November 21, 2019
Any business can market, but the problem is knowing how to market effectively. Small businesses and SMEs especially have a problem when marketing responsibilities fall on the owner or other employees who do not have expertise in this area. The owner might decide to simply handle the marketing functions in-house or for financial reasons cannot outsource marketing due to cash restraints.
Few businesses, however, can rely on a steady stream of customers without some type of marketing. When marketing campaigns are well thought out and planned, marketing achieves the desired results. Unfortunately, when marketing is not done correctly, it consumes an owner’s efforts, results in wasted money, produces little positive results, and generally is ineffective.
Content Is A Driver
Overall in today’s marketplace, consumers are very savvy. With the Internet, information is readily available on almost any business and its competition; therefore, content supplied by a business in marketing campaigns is critically important.
Buyers want to be informed, educated, and knowledgeable about the products or services they purchase. This type of content can be delivered to buyers in a number of ways… websites, demo videos, fact sheets, white papers, or through personal contact. Regardless of the delivery method, content must be delivered to customers that speak directly to the target market and to the needs of that market segment.
To obtain optimum results, the right message must be delivered to the right person at the right time. This is the real marketing challenge since each business is different and each target market is different; therefore, there is no marketing template that can be used for every business. Each business is unique to a certain extent; otherwise, there would be no competition, as no product or service differentiation would exist.
Effective content defines the business, what it does, benefits of purchasing, and proof for the product or service being offered for sale.
Target Market Counts
An effective marketing campaign must hit the target market. If it is too broad (covers more than the target market), money and efforts are wasted. If the campaign is too narrow (does not cover the entire target market), then some prospective customers are never reached leaving “money on the table” from those potential buyers who never received the business’ message.
It is imperative that the right content reaches the right market. While it is assumed that any business would know its target market, many miss the mark by having great marketing content but speak to the wrong audience. A business might sell the same product or service to different markets necessitating different campaigns for the different markets. An excellent campaign directed to the wrong market renders it relatively useless.
Buyers Love Stories
Buyers want to know precisely how a business’ products or services will help them and what benefits they will receive. When buyers hear stories that are relevant to their needs or concerns, they immediately place themselves in the same situation. Marketing and sales barriers break down and the product or service being discussed becomes more appealing. This type of proof is a powerful incentive to purchase.
Stories might include:
• Success stories or testimonials by other buyers
• Solutions a buyer experienced
• Improvements or enjoyment received because of a purchase
• Expenses lowered
• Efficiency increased
Call To Action
Passive marketing (let the buyer come to me) can and will produce sales but only to a certain extent. The ultimate goal of any type of marketing is to get customers to take some type of action eventually resulting in a purchase. Before the purchase, however, there might be some type of other action such as phoning a business, walking into a business, requesting additional information, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading product information all with the goal to finalize a sale.
This action is referred to as a “call to action (CTA).” The CTA is what starts the chain of events leading to a sale. Rather than a simple “contact us,” explicit content with an effective “call to action” produces much greater results. Call to action content should mesh the target market and product or service information with specific action that the buyer should take now.
Duplication of Content
An advantage of creating the right content that produces an effective marketing campaign is that the same content can be used simultaneously in different types of marketing channels. Websites, social media sites, print, email, direct mail campaigns, etc. can use the same content to extend the business brand. When the right mix of content works, it can then be duplicated and used with multiple marketing campaigns.
Hit the Mark
Content marketing is no easy job but developing content that hits the mark every time is critical for a business success. Content is everywhere, but quality content is what makes the difference between truly effective marketing campaigns and only mediocre campaigns. A competitive marketplace necessitates quality content. Plan, focus, and create quality content. That process drives results!