In the world of digital marketing, we are bombarded every day with the jargon that we ourselves have created. Article after article about Google algorithm updates, a new â€œhow to get more likes on Facebookâ€ article, the post about the day-old technology platform and how that can benefit your business – the list goes on and on.
For those of us who live and breathe SEO and Social Media, these posts eventually become noise and obvious cries for attention from just another marketing blog trying to make a dent in the oversaturated world of marketing blogs. For the authors who have built their reputation and authority on the subject matter, they become indispensable reads that equate to an on-going, college-level class that we will forever be attending.
The problem for the rest of the world paying attention to this content, i.e business owners who are looking for new ways to drum up new customers, is that while WE know who to pay attention to, what blogs to read and who to ignore, the general population of business owners looking for marketing advice does not, and this leads to more damage than doing them good when it comes to developing their own marketing and advertising campaigns. Do you fit into this group?
I’ve been to so many client kick-off meetings with a business owner who barely had a proper website built and maybe a few business cards printed before hearing them ask â€œWhat do you know about the Penguin update? We want to make sure we’re not going to get hit with a penaltyâ€ or â€œWhat is your approach to marketing on Pinterest? We here that is getting a lot of attention from our sourcesâ€.
These kinds of conversations can really cause me to have a nervous breakdown at times! Okay, I’m kidding, but if you’re not someone who’s marketing or a living, you need to take Â step back to marketing 101 and ask yourself the following questions. Put the iPad down and stop reading so many blogs for a change. Pull out a plain sheet of paper and a pen, and let’s get to work. We’re going to learn what marketing is really about by answering these 3 simple questions:
What are the benefits of what you are selling?
Let’s say you just invented the most fascinating new widget the world has ever seen? Why should anyone buy it? How will it make my life better? Does it solve a problem? Can it make things work faster? What does it do and why do I need to have it?
It’s amazing how many people think that just because something was invented that people will automatically buy it. Before you do any marketing you need to understand how to talk about a product or service’s benefits in order to write the copy and content that will explain that to your target audience.
Who are you selling it to?
Where are you going to market this product? Don’t answer with â€œsocial mediaâ€ or you may get punched in the face! Seriously, too many business owners get caught up in the SEO and social media hype to really plan out HOW they are going to use those tools to find the right audience to market their content to.
Rankings in Google and traffic from social don’t help if the people you’re reaching don’t care or understand what you are trying to get across to them.
What is your story?
Once you really understand how to talk about your product or service (focus on benefits) and who you are going to be talking to, you can then TELL A STORY. That’s really the whole point of marketing, is finding out who wants to hear your story and then telling it; it’s as simple as that.
Why did you start your company? How did the product come to be? How has your service changed the lives of your customers? Being able to tell a story will then enable you to finally explore all these wonderful tactics the web has to offer in order to spread that story and get in front of your customers. Without your story you can’t write the article that goes viral and then pops up in Google for your target keywords. That’s how it works!
The web has changed marketing and advertising in big ways, but that doesn’t mean that the fundamentals don’t apply. As a matter of fact, these fundamentals play an even bigger role today than they ever have, as digital channels continue to become more and more crowded and competitive. Those who have the right message and knows who wants to hear it will be the ones who will be savvy with online channels and ultimately become successful.
So the next time you hear about a new Google update or social-fad-of-the-week, ask yourself if it applies to your core strategy and whether you need to devote any actual time or effort to it. You might find that you have much more important things on your plate (which hopefully includes spending time on your most profitable marketing channels!)