In 2020, we learned that we need to be where our customers are — online. Creating real connections to your audience through your brand’s communications should be at the heart of your marketing strategy, both now and in the future.
Marketing is a must for any business
Marketing is an essential channel to allow businesses to connect with their audience. Regardless of what you sell, whether that be products or services, without customers your business will cease to exist. Marketing allows you to showcase your business, engage consumers, build thriving communities, and enhance your brand’s reputation.
Marketing helps you connect with your customers, wherever they may be online, to create an opportunity for them to learn from you and buy from you. It involves using a number of strategies, including social media, email marketing, webinars and free downloads, blogging, “Pay Per Click” advertising, and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
COVID-19 has accelerated the consumer shift to digital channels. More and more people have been forced to make their purchasing decisions online, and when consumers were restricted to shopping from their computers, instead of scanning their local shops, how a brand showed up online was what counted the most. There’s a lot that can be learnt about a brand from its online presence, website, and the overall tone and “feel” of their messaging. These first impressions count, so you must adapt your marketing to suit.
Consumer behaviour and attitudes have changed throughout 2020, here is what we know about marketing moving forward.
Lesson 1: Use empathy and the correct language to connect with your audience
You might be reading this blog and wondering where to start. Marketing can be very complex, but leading with your audience in mind will help you to put your best foot forward.
This is an example of how to use empathy in your writing. What you say is just as important as how you say it, and your customer wants to know that you understand them, so it’s important to use their language. A common trend often seen in marketing is using fear-based language to entice a customer to buy from you. No one wants to be bullied into buying something, and they certainly don’t want you to highlight their pain or areas of concern in a way which leaves them questioning your level of care.
Consumers want to know that you both understand their problems, and can offer them a solution. Using empathy and sharing personal experiences will allow you to connect on a more emotional level. Even before Coronavirus, 59% of consumers felt companies had lost their touch with the human element of customer experience. The most important stakeholder in your business is the customer craving connection and trust. The question which should be framing your approach to your marketing and messaging now is “How can I support my customers in a meaningful, human, and relevant way?”
Thinking about the language that your customers would typically use, how they may be feeling, and how you can alleviate their pain will go a long way to creating content which speaks to them on a personal and individual level, in a meaningful way.
Lesson 2: You must stand out in a crowded marketplace
The sheer volume of content and advertising thrown across people’s newsfeeds today has caused the attention of consumers to plummet. People are now experiencing information overload, with businesses fighting for attention over every square inch of the online world. This means you must stand out and grab the attention of your audience quickly, and establish a recognisable brand. An example of a brand who does this particularly well is Squarespace. While there are thousands of different website platforms available today, they market themselves in a way which is consistent, unique, and highly emotional. They never market to sell their platform or its features. Instead, they focus on sharing the results and outcomes of using their platform.
Brand recognition allows you to stand out in an already saturated market. A positive brand gives people a sense of trust, understanding, and belonging. Research suggests that 50% of consumers become more loyal to a brand during their first purchase, so it’s important to create a great experience for your customer.
Every element of your brand, from the messaging, to the logo, to the colour selection, and user experience, will capture the essence of your business, and what you have to offer. Your brand should seek to accomplish the following objectives: to reaffirm your credibility, build an emotional connection, generate goodwill and loyalty, and motivate your audience to buy from you. By becoming real and personable with your audience through your brand’s personality, you can cement long lasting relationships with your customers.
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