I just watched a webinar on “The Future of Marketing” (this link will take you to the slides). The first presenter, Mark Schaefer made me realize that the “marketing wheel” graphic I use to explain how today’s marketing works is obsolete. Ah, the challenges of keeping up with this stuff!
Before, you wrote a blog post, then shared it on the social networks. Ideally, your target market saw the post, was enticed to click on it, which led them back to your website. Well, that kinda-sorta still works, but it seems like the social media networks, predominantly Facebook, LinkedIn, and I’ll throw in Google+, want publishers to create content just for them. They want to be the content magnets. They want the attention. So your website isn’t the center of it all anymore — the social networks want to be your source of information.
What’s up with the Social Media Networks?
The social media networks are in this to make money. They rely heavily on user analytics and data. Moreover, they make changes to their platforms based on that data.
Their objective is to…
- get people on their platform
- keep people on their platform
- collect personal information (yeah, I know, Big Brother)
- then take that data and use it for advertising
What you need to do in your marketing:
You can’t get around this. To quote the Borg, “Resistance is futile. You must comply.”
- Go where your customers are
- Focus on building awareness
- Give people a reason to go to your website
Because content and information are so readily available — between digital media and apps — people have what they need at their fingertips.
So what’s a small business marketer to do?
- Now more than ever you MUST start with narrowing your target market niches. Write up personas, give them names. Get to know them. How do they use social media? What devices do they prefer?
- Do some research. Once you’ve narrowed down the niches, you have to study their habits. Breaking them up in to basic age groups is the first key:
- Under 25
- Over 40
- What are their pain points/problems that you can solve? How can you make their lives better, easier, more fun, happier, etc.?
- Come up with the content that gives them what their looking for — blog posts, videos, podcasts, pictures. What you choose depends on the networks they frequent and what each age group prefers.
- Blog posts at least 300 words
- Videos that you upload directly to Facebook or Facebook live videos
- Short Instagram videos
- Short opinion, motivational, inspirational or advice pieces/text accompanied by a picture
- Original articles for LinkedIn — especially if you’re B2B
- Write this all down in strategic and tactical plans.
- Implement the plan
- Monitor and measure — check your analytics monthly to see what’s working and not working. Adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly.
- Plan for the next month – set new goals and benchmarks
- Repeat steps 4-8 every month.
By this point you’re probably thinking, “I can’t do this!” “There’s too much!” “I just want to quit!”