Long ago and not so far away, entrepreneurs and corporate officers relied on pushy advertising tactics via broadcast and print media, to sell everything from toilet plungers to Caribbean vacations. Following the old school of thought that buyers would respond if people told them what to do, remarkably, the method worked – for decades. Think radio spots and TV commercials with catchy jingles and slogans: Be all you can be, Betcha can’t eat just one, Don’t leave home without it.
Push vs Pull
Using expensive ads and attention-grabbing claims, push advertising effectively shoved products and services into the minds of consumers. Today, new rules of marketing have emerged, including pull advertising. This method targets prospects by establishing and building a connection that effectively pulls them into a mutually-beneficial long-term business relationship.
Pull Marketing is Affordable
One of the benefits of pull marketing is that it is available not only to corporate ad agencies with multi-million dollar budgets but to any entrepreneur who is willing to use traditional and digital technology to communicate with prospects and existing clients. Relying heavily on internet channels such as websites, blogs and social media networks, pull marketing is the reason content is currently king.
Why Content is King
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing like this: “Content marketing focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain clearly defined audiences —ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Content marketing is fueled by the public’s voracious appetite for tailor-made information and entertainment as well as the plethora of methods available for delivering just such material. Whichever platforms your target market enjoys, reach out to them not with a demand they buy your product or service, but with relevant content. This will create value which is measurable because consumers actively seek it out.
But how can you create great content marketing so you can amp up the value you offer clients? Here are a few ideas:
Colorful, vertical graphics featuring useful statistics, charts, graphs, and other information, Infographics are effective because they can be shared via social media networks and posted on websites indefinitely. While some graphic design teams might charge thousands of dollars to create an original infographic that includes strategy and planning, research, copywriting, and design, entrepreneurs can compete by using an affordable freelance bidding site such as Fiverr.
E-Books & Guides –
Often offered on the landing page of websites, these value-packed books are free to download and provide marketing tips and tricks for business owners. Hire an expert (or put your own experience to use) and write a free downloadable guidebook. If you are providing enough value, you may be surprised by how many people download the resource. For instance, Buffer created this Social Media Strategies eBook you can download and read at your leisure.
When it comes to marketing books, self-publishing has made everyone an author. Still, readers tend to believe that only seasoned professionals can publish a business book. So, publish your own. Even if no one ever reads it, you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck each time you reference yourself as a marketing author.
Podcasts & Videos –
YouTube is the second most often used search engine after Google. So, don’t underestimate the importance of filming and uploading videos with the user-friendly interface. Then, embed links to your creations on your own website. If you’re camera shy, consider creating podcasts, which you can offer for free.
Just in case you get stuck trying to figure out what content to provide via the above mediums, here are five tips:
5 Winning Strategies for Coming Up with Great Content
- Steal it. Okay, don’t really rip off content from colleagues and competitors. But lean on them for inspiration. If you decide to reference portions of their content, that’s okay. Just make sure you provide attribution – typically in hyperlink form – and make sure you reimagine the lion’s share, to make it your own.
- Reuse & Recycle. While this term is currently on trend for green-related reasons, we are referencing where you go to get ideas. Once you’ve been creating content for a while, it’s okay to review past blog posts, status updates, videos, podcasts and Instagram Stories to see if anything old is new again. Reference blog post analytics to determine which posts were premier performers.
- Ask your base. If you aren’t sure what your customers would like to hear, ask! You could provide a brief online survey, asking for feedback and ideas. People appreciate knowing that their opinions count. So, you won’t offend them by asking their thoughts.
- Follow Trends. While we are all about starting trends, we also support getting behind ones already in progress. If you’re not sure what those are, just look up “trending topics” on Facebook. Another way to find relevant ideas is to search for industry keywords using hashtags on Twitter. For example, if you own a children’s boutique, search keywords like #KidsClothing, #ChildrenBoutique, #KidsFashion, to check out what other interested parties are posting about. One trend we love fun ideas like fidget spinners and other small, affordable gifts some clients buy to tie into their digital campaigns. Embrace the trend digitally and then follow up with a personalized, promotional giveaway.
- Walk away. If you’re stuck in a creative rut, close your laptop and take a walk, watch standup comedy, or play with your dog. Give yourself permission to turn your mind off so you can come back to the task with fresh perspective. The break will do you good and your work will be better for it.
About On Target Promotions
We’ve got great ideas for helping you develop and maintain great relationships with prospects and current clients. OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.