Marketing has changed quite a bit in the past few years. New technology, new applications, the advent of social media – all of which make the goal of separating yourself from your competition much more of a challenge, and yet at the same time, offering you a number of opportunities. The trick is to find the right blend of media that attracts your typical audience, and then to keep your message consistent and in keeping with your organization’s mission and focus.
One of the more significant shifts in marketing today revolves around the concept of engagement. This is the idea that instead of just “pushing” your message out to the world, rather you try to “pull” your audience into the discussion – involve them as much as possible. All of this is a direct result of social media and how discussions can become virile almost immediately. Of course this can be good or bad, so hence the need to be a part of the discussion, and where possible, to even lead the discussion.
Another significant shift is in the trend to become a resource within your market. The concept here is that you establish your organization as one that can bring value to the market based on your sharing of information. Your goal is to not just sell, but to help your clients or prospects grow their own business or organization through the advice and knowledge you bring to the relationship.
How can this be done? There are actually many ways to do this, and with time you will indeed establish yourself as a resource. Take for instance this blog – a great way to share information and your personal thoughts. As you post each blog, be sure to make sure clients have access – through an e-mail blast and link, links on your website, and even a printed version to hand out.
Another avenue is to write a “white paper” or a “special report.” Many organizations include this as a marketing strategy linked to a unique landing page that also provides the contact information for all those who download the reports. Or, perhaps consider hosting seminars or webinars to your target audience.
The key point though, is to make sure there is real benefit or information to share. You do not want to make these into strictly a sales pitch, but rather a way to engage your audience and establish yourself as a thought leader within your industry or market. If done well, and consistently, you will in fact become a resource for clients. I also believe, that you will find another significant benefit from this strategy – you will actually learn more about your field as well through research and discussions with your audience.
Time to get started…