Technology has molded and shaped the way we shop online, and marketing techniques need to keep up with and adapt to what it is that shoppers want and expect. It’s naive to assume that just because you have a platform and potential buyers that you’re going to make sales. This is especially true when today’s shoppers are more skeptical of obvious marketing techniques than ever before.
As a customer, you know that huge flashing banners telling you to buy are downright annoying. Companies spamming their product links with aggressive sales techniques do nothing but put you off the idea of purchasing from a company. So bear this in mind when you’re putting together your own marketing strategy.
Are Your Marketing Tactics Too Blatant?
Before we tackle a few ways that you can avoid the aggressive marketing trap, we first have to assess our own marketing campaigns. For example:
- Does every one of your social media posts include a link to buy?
- Do you regularly blog to educate your audience about your industry, helping them to make informed decisions?
- When posting on social media, do you engage with your audience, with polls, stories, and live videos?
- Are you sending emails to your subscribers that inform and entertain, while asking for the sale?
In other words, do you provide value to your audience? Not sales pitches, but real value that helps them in their day to day lives? Review your social media content, website and email marketing campaigns to see what has been working and what has not. If your engagement rates, open rates and conversion rates have been stagnant or declining, perhaps it is time for a change.
Don’t blame the algorithms or spam filters. After all, blame does not pay the bills. Blame does not positively affect your profitability or cash flow. People are still clicking on social posts, and still opening emails. If your marketing tactics have become too blatant, it is time to take a step back and figure out how to create more effective campaigns.
These days, as marketers, we need to be more clever and more subtle in our approach. We need to offer something more to the customer than just shoving our product or business in their face. Because nobody likes this. Here are three key ways you can how you can go about doing so.
Use content marketing
Content marketing involves the creation of online materials such as articles, podcasts and videos which don’t explicitly promote anything. Instead, they are designed to create an interest or buzz around products or services.
The content should first and foremost engage, inform or amuse the customer.
This means your content should be offering something of value. From there you can recommend or suggest products to complement the content.
For example, if you’re a company that sells craft supplies, you could write how-to articles for different crafts and include links to some relevant products you sell if people need them. It’s far less aggressive and much more effective than things like banner ads. Especially since ‘banner blindness’ is a genuine thing (where people have started to ‘zone out’ and not notice ads on the page). On top of this, ad blockers are commonly used so many people won’t even be shown these kinds of ads.
Engage (not hard sell) on social media
One huge mistake many new companies can make when it comes to social media is they try to use it as a platform to hard sell. Sending out constant links, cold messages and bugging people looks desperate and will quickly put off your potential customers.
The key thing to remember is that social media is not the preferred platform for people who are buying. Research has shown this over and over. It’s not to say you can’t make sales here, but as a rule it’s not the preferred method.
Instead, your social media needs to be a place to engage (and be social, as the name suggests!) Get customers involved, ask them to share photos and reviews, run competitions, get a conversation going and build up brand awareness.
Hire a marketing agency
Finally, if you’re new to marketing and don’t fully understand how certain techniques work (and importantly, the do’s and don’ts), do not try and guess at it. A marketing company can help you create a marketing strategy that excites your audience, instead of repelling them. For example, if you know your audience is on LinkedIn, hire a LinkedIn ad agency to create campaigns specific to the LinkedIn platform.
You can hire a social media company or other kind of marketing professional who is experienced in building up companies like yours. Hire some professionals and ensure things are done in the right way so that you can create effective marketing campaigns that get results.