So now you have a logo, you have a website, you have a clear vision of what your online or ecommerce business is all about.
You have a brand. Now what?
Probably Google something like "how to grow your facebook following" or "instagram growth". But before you step on the gas and get lost in social media marketing... take a minute to check the map and make sure you're taking the most efficient and effective route.
A Bird’s-Eye View of Digital Marketing
It’s important to see marketing for what it really is. Whether it’s being carried out digitally, in person, or on the TV, what you’re doing is building a community around your brand. You want your customers to not only buy, but advocate. You want your product or service to be an essential part of their lifestyles, something they all have in common.
This is especially true in 2020, a time where word travels in the blink of an eye through cyberspace, like the whole world is within walking distance.
But every message has to start somewhere, and budgets don’t always allow for global domination right away. So start by building a village.
Who Do You Want In Your Village?
An expert marketer and seasoned entrepreneur once explained marketing to me in this way:
“Marketing is being in a room with a hundred people and choosing the four that you want to spend your night talking to”
The truth is you’ll most likely never have the people and resources to reach everyone, just like you won’t have time in a night to have quality, meaningful conversations with a hundred people.
If you have to start somewhere, who do you start with?
This is exactly why it’s so important to know who your target market is.
Once you have a clear description of your target market’s characteristics, look around you. Who in your social circle (your family, friends and colleagues) fits the criteria?
Those are the people you want in your village. Talk to them, get them excited with your vision, send them free samples. Build a community. This is where you start.
How Do They Eat, Sleep and Breathe?
When I’m preparing marketing or creative strategies, I often reference The Choice Factory by Richard Shotton because it acknowledges that humans are irrational beings. It dives into some of the most common behavioural bias’ that affect our decision making.
In its first chapter, it explains the impact of a person’s environment; many marketing initiatives fail because they focus on targeting people but neglect the importance of targeting context as well. For example, the book cites a social experiment conducted with trainee priests:
Trainee Priests were asked to complete a questionnaire to understand their motivation for going into the Church. They were then split into two groups: those who were motivated to help others versus those who wanted salvation for their own souls. They were asked to deliver a talk in another building. They were asked to hurry on to get there (Low rush, medium rush or high rush). Along the way they passed a person who was pretending to be in distress. The key discriminator as to if the trainee Priest stopped was the time he had rather than his values. The situation, not the person, determined behaviour.
Now that you have an understanding of WHO you’re targeting and you’ve identified them in real life, it’s time to understand when, where and how to interface with them. Which digital platforms are they spending their time on? What are their intentions when they are on each one (eg: learning skills on YouTube, connecting with communities on Facebook, searching for inspiration on Pinterest etc.)?
These are questions to ask so that you may understand where and when your target market is receptive to your brand as well as how to address them at each point.
How do you find the answers? All you have to do is observe how your “villagers” behave. Check out their social media posts, look at the pages/accounts they follow, or just ask them!
Who Wants What Someone Else Has?
You now have a group of people that has tried and believes in your product/service. But more importantly, you have social proof.
The power of social proof is one of those truisms that isn’t only widely understood and accepted, but has also been studied and proven extensively. If THEY have something, and THEY’RE just like me, then there’s no reason I shouldn’t have it as well.
It’s always hard to convince someone you don’t know to be one of your first customers, that’s why you start with the people you do know. Since you’ve already done that, you are no longer asking strangers to be your crash-test dummies; you can give your sales prospects confidence in your product/service by showing them testimonials.
Ask those colleagues, friends and family members whom you’ve given free samples and trials to for their honest (and hopefully positive) testimonials. Use these in your marketing materials and media to show your legitimacy. If done right, this tactic will give your audience the feeling that they are missing out on something great.
Don’t forget to ask your early-adopters for referrals as well! Sometimes, all you have to do for new business is ask.
If you’re keeping up, congratulations! You’re about to see your brand’s “villagers” multiply. Send us an email and let us know if this article has helped you grow your brand, we love hearing success stories! If you’re still feeling stuck, send us an email so we can help you out!