Even though we live in a world where almost every shopper, regardless of their intent or budget, turns to the Internet in order to satisfy his or her needs and desires, most digital marketers still struggle to successfully follow-up on their leads and turn them into actual paying customers. Why is that, you ask? - Well, because, in today’s world, it’s extremely hard to actually start a genuine conversation with your potential buyers.
The market has become overcrowded with all sorts of different blog posts, ads and proposal that do nothing more than take up space and irritate people. There’s no real value behind them – only calls to action! Thanks to that, it has also become quite difficult for most serious brands to come up with an approach that will stimulate their leads to actually acknowledge the proposals as something more than just random shots in the dark.
Building online relationships with potential customers you haven’t really seen before has become insanely complex. Why? – Well, because of four things. First, you don’t know anything about them. Second, they don’t know anything about your brand. Third, they don’t trust you. And fourth, they have grown immune to all types of standard marketing tactics. They don’t really want to buy anything that’s being aggressively sold to them.
This sort of behavior puts marketers in a pretty hellish situation. Growing a brand in such an environment has become nothing short of a complete nightmare for most entrepreneurs. Regardless of the niche or market you operate in, every type of brand, be it big, medium or small, is pouring more money than ever before into their marketing, and people are becoming even more resilient than ever before to everything advertisers are throwing their way.
How can you do your job, if people don’t want to buy anything you’re selling? – Easily. By making them come to you. Instead of chasing your clients around the Web like a mad dog, you should put in far more effort into transforming your website into a place that people actually want to visit.
When you sit back and look at what’s really going on here, you can easily see that you don’t really need to reinvent the wheel in order to rise about your competitors. You don’t need to fly to the Moon and back, just try to give the people what they’re already looking for online. All you really have to here is develop a different approach and capitalize on your data:
- Embrace the Weird – Be Different, Be Creative, and People Will Love You for It
I don’t know if you have noticed or not, but we live in a day and age where everyone is doing the exact same thing online when it comes to marketing. Every company, be it big, medium, or small, is now on every social media network, blasting the same type of content to their targeted audiences.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and even Snapchat – everyone is everywhere, and they’re all basically doing the same thing.
Just look at the whole content marketing situation. Almost every brand out there now has a blog, and on it dozens of generic how-to articles. Even though they’re doing their best to keep up with the latest trends in digital marketing, most of these companies still feel like their efforts aren’t really paying off.
Do you know why? – I’ll tell you. It’s because they’re blindly copying each other.
There’s no creativity anymore. Whether we like to admit it or not, marketing has become a dull and unimaginative machine that creates more and more content, even though there’s no real demand for it.
People think they can make it big online by following someone else’s formula. No wonder most brands fail in their content marketing efforts. Who in their right mind would want to read the same tips and tricks on 20 different websites?
That’s why I think it’s important to embrace the weird, and do everything that’s in your power to find your uniqueness, and pursue it as hard as you can. Every successful growth hacking strategy is dependent on two things: creativity and analytical skills. Especially on the first. If you try to develop a strategy that aims to please everyone, the chances are – you’ll end up pleasing nobody. You’ll create a generic and dull strategy that will instantly sink into this endless digital sea of mediocre efforts.
Be creative, be open to experiments, go outside the borders of what is considered “normal advertising”, and try to come up with an approach that your audience hasn’t really seen yet. At least in your niche or market. This will automatically draw attention to your brand, and give you the power to set trends from within your company’s walls.
Remember, the best way to connect with people is to go after them as individuals, not as groups. There is no longer a concept of “normal” when it comes to communicating with your audience, so don’t be shy to play with the archetypes and use your uniqueness to win over new fans and customers.
- Let Them See Behind the Curtain – It’s Still About Who You Are, Where You’ve Been and What You Have to Offer
Everyone who has any experience in marketing knows that customers want to buy stuff from people they know and like. They want to know who you really are, what makes you tick, what excites you, what drives your business and makes it so special. They want to be inspired, educated, challenged, and emotionally charged by your thoughts, theories, adventures and achievements.
Even though everything changes around us, one thing remains the same in marketing: people still call the shots, and they still have the same core emotions. They still want to talk and read about people they like and know, and they are still more likely to respond to information coming from those they, in some way, already care for.
This means that, if you want to get your target crowd to remember you business and talk about your work to whomever they can, and whenever they can, you need to humanize your brand and appeal to your audience’s senses and interests. Apart from that, you need to let them see who you are and what you stand for. If you want to win them over, you cannot just hide behind your brand and logo, or rely on your knowledge and expertise. You need to add charm and personality to the mix as well.
In my experience, there’s no better way of doing this than by telling good, smart and engaging stories.
Stories have the power to affect your audiences in many ways. They create the desire to own your products. They speak to your audience’s senses, add personality to faceless groups or enterprises, and make even the most boring products and services seem fun and interesting.
When you really sit down and think about it, if leveraged right, your story can easily become your best salesmen. That’s why your number 1 goal in business should be to develop skills that effectively help you showcase your human qualities, next to your business-related ones. Use your personal stories to fuel your data and make it relatable and important for those who have the interest and the capacity to understand your goals and motives.
Invest in intelligent customer avatars and put your numbers in concise, concrete and unexpected stories that are actually filled with more than just some raw facts, and I promise you – you’ll see your efforts pay off in no time.
- Acknowledge the Difference between Your Suspects, Prospects, Leads and Opportunities, and How to Treat Everyone Accordingly
Locating the right customer is everything in business. It doesn’t matter who you are, and what you sell, your goal here is always the same – generate more conversions. You cannot do that if you continue to blast the same type of messages on everyone that comes into contact with your brand. You need to segment your audience, and figure out who belongs where in your marketing funnel.
As I already wrote above, without a steady stream of conversions, your business cannot function. Regardless of how unique or special you may be, if you don’t continue to grow your customer base – it’s only a matter of time when your business will start to go down. Your conversions are the blood that fuels your business, so it of crucial importance that you figure out how to set goals, track and stimulate your growth in that field.
In order to do that, you must first actually learn how to recognize the differences between your crowd, and the exact tipping point at which a suspect can turn into a prospect, a prospect into a lead, and a lead into an opportunity.
Once you figure that out, you can tailor your marketing strategy in a way that will perfectly fit the needs of all these people. You’ll know exactly who you need to keep on impressing and educating, and who just needs some persuading in order to generate more conversions on your site.
Reaching out to new audiences is great, but it means nothing if you constantly fail to close your leads, and let them aimlessly circle around your website.
- Learn How to Use Data in Your Content Strategy – Put Your Numbers into Right Frameworks
When it comes to growing your brand online, nothing beats a well-orchestrated, data-driven content marketing strategy. If done right, content marketing has the power to transform even the most obscure business into real industry giants online.
However, despite how good this may sound, content marketing is still a pretty high mountain to climb. Even though a lot of brands online praise data-driven content, most of them don’t really know how to leverage it right. They just keep digging through the numbers and producing generic blog posts. These guys think that their audiences are begging for that sort of junk. You and me both know that they couldn’t be more wrong.
Most brands recycle their stats, conduct basic keyword researches, find some relevant queries, and expect to win big online, solely by filling in the blanks.
Content marketing doesn’t really work like that.
It doesn’t matter how many articles you’ve read about the importance of data, you still need to know that your numbers don’t really run the show here. Their sole purpose is to provide your content writers with clarity and context on how to effectively reach your audience. If you want to actually do that, if you want your targets to convert via your content – you still need to come up with something intelligent, challenging, educational, fun or truly exceptional for them.
That’s why, before you start to even think further and start using data in your own marketing strategy, you must first answer the following questions:
1. What kind of story do I want to tell?
2. What’s in it for those who stumble upon my link?
- What makes my content worthy of a share?
This is always the most difficult part of the process, but once you’ve finally mastered it – you’ll have your prospects eating from the palm of your hand.
That’s why I first focus on the story, then the data. Once I have a general direction I want to pursue, it’s easy for me to go out and look for the necessary resources that will help me elevate my idea and words to a whole new level.
Redeveloping existing concepts or already established ideas in a new light isn’t really something that can done solely by looking at your data. Nope. Sure, conducting keyword researches and checking up on your competitors via BuzzSumo will guide you in the right direction, but it certainly won’t help you create exceptional content. For that, you need some proper writing skills. And I’m not just talking about grammar.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope these tips truly help you grow your brand from zero to hero!