It is no secret that the Internet and related new technology has changed the face of marketing communications. Much like the inception of radio and television affected business communications years ago, the Internet is turning marketing methods of the past on their heads and recreating the environmental landscape of buying and selling. History has shown there will be winners and losers in the midst of these changes, but you can stay on top by making sure your Online Marketing and Advertising efforts are current and applicable to today’s customer.
What is happening NOW in marketing communications?
Search engine optimization, video, social media, audio and RSS are just a few of the terms that are becoming an integral part of relevant marketing strategies. A shift in customer thinking and behavior has required business owners to leave behind old advertising methods and learn how to use these aforementioned tools to reach customers.
While ten years ago a banner ad may have pulled in the customers, today many customers will immediately view the ad skeptically. Replacing traditional advertising are customer recommendations and word-of-mouth through blogs, message boards and other forums.
In a way, this takes some of the financial pressure off of your shoulders, which is a relief in today’s fragile economic times. You don’t have to have deep pockets or break your revised budgets to purchase the big ads and flashy marketing in order to compete. Instead, you must know your niche well enough to provide the quality information customers are seeking. You also must learn where your customers are hanging out online, so you can join in their communities and discussions. We are transitioning to a new profession that takes dedication, insight, authenticity and smarts to succeed.
How can you become a marketing communications winner?
No business owner or brand manager wants to lose out on customers just because the world of advertising and marketing is changing. Good news–you don’t have to! In fact, you can thrive and see your business go to new levels if you implement an effective strategy that works in today’s market.
Below are three simple tips to help you find your way to success:
o Research in order to know your niche, your customers, your competitors and your keywords. Your research goal is to become an expert on not only your business niche but also your customers. You want to know who they are, where they go online and what words they plug into the search engines. Free search engines and keyword tools (such as the Google Keyword Tool) make this step simple.
o Get comfortable with the idea of using social media. If you want to connect with customers, you are going to have to tap into social media. By participating in blogs, networking sites and other online communities, you can work with your prospective customers on their level. These relationships can turn into dollar signs.
o Offer something of value to potential customers. Once you have made a connection with people online, you want to make sure you keep them engaged by offering them quality information and solutions to their problems. Doing this helps you to build rapport and trust as well as keep you in the fore-front of their minds when they are ready to buy.