Marketing. If you’re reading this now, you probably know exactly how important it is for your business.
But new and even intermediate marketers tend to get it wrong. They continually push out “check it out!” or “buy it now!” type messages in hopes that someone, anyone, will connect with them.
You can say those things once you’ve earned your audience’s attention. Until then, this is akin to shouting into the void. So these marketers certainly can’t be faulted for their enthusiasm, mind you.
But to be perfectly honest, the best marketing doesn’t look like marketing at all. How does this work?
The Best Marketing Is Useful
Jay Baer is the founder of Convince & Convert and an award-winning internet pioneer. He has a book titled Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype.
Can you guess what the overarching theme of the book is? It’s about being useful.
This is not a novel concept if you understand how content marketing works.
But just so you can see for yourself, here’s an example:
Have a look at Neil Patel’s post on Quick Sprout titled How to Increase Your Sales With Instagram Stories.
This post contains plenty of action-packed content for those looking to use Instagram to generate sales for their business. But beyond a simple call to action to subscribe to his blog, there are no sales messages to be found on this page.
Patel himself has admitted that there is no business model behind Quick Sprout.
But once you’ve managed to get your visitor’s email address, you’ve won half the battle. You can continue to nurture them, send them relevant content and ultimately connect them to solutions they would find helpful.
The Best Marketing Is Engaging
One of the rising stars in eCommerce today is Ezra Firestone. And, his primary means of talking to his audience is through video. Ezra is an engaging personality, able to bring simplicity and clarity to challenging business issues.
Video is quite possibly one of the most powerful forms of content there is today, and the stats back it up. HubSpot notes that 97% of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service, 76% say it helped them increase sales, and 76% say it helped them increase traffic.
The fundamentals of content marketing don’t change regardless of the medium. Whether it’s a blog post, podcast episode, video or otherwise, the goal is to build credibility with – and earn the trust of – your target audience. Sales can happen later.
Many content types have engagement built in, whether it’s cartoons and illustrations, memes, online games, surveys, quizzes, polls and more. So long as your message isn’t pushy or “salesy,” you can drive plenty of engagement with your content.
The Best Marketing Leaves Them Wanting More
In the battle of quantity versus quality, quality is starting to win. Google isn’t just looking for websites that publish good content on a regular basis anymore. They’re ranking sites that post authoritative content in their niche.
But there’s a reason why one blog post isn’t enough. You can certainly publish at a slower pace, especially if you’re committed to quality. But serialized content is engaging. And, it can become habit forming. So, there’s a balance here.
Just think of your favorite TV show or Netflix series. If you become hooked on one episode, you want more. It’s the same with content. So it should always leave your visitors wanting more.
Be intentional about your marketing. Don’t just post generic messages prompting your audience to buy from you. Engage them first. Get them on your email list. If you can do this, you can continually engage them and convert them into customers.
So what are some of the best examples of marketing you’ve seen lately? Have you been able to apply this style of marketing to your business? What were the results?
Let us know in the comments below.