There was a time when digital and social media marketing strategies simply meant getting online and setting up profiles on any and all platforms. But consumers have moved on. They expect you to be… well, more human. And to make the time to get to know them, hang out with them having real conversations. And, this is true of all your marketing channels.
So, how do you do it? How do you make your marketing more personal? Here are a few ideas:
Instead of approaching prospects to turn them into clients, consider other ways in which you could add value to their brand (and yours). Find out how the company is structured, their mandate and key focus for the financial year during which you plan on approaching them. Think beyond the obvious. A skills training provider, for example, could look to collaborate with a tea brand to create a career advice series. They could approach some of their clients and alumni who are thought leaders in their respective industry and invite them for a career chat; over a cup of tea.
Whatever your industry, you can plan your content, create an interview schedule, choose a venue, co-brand it and record interviews (on your phone). Your branded talk series and its audiovisual content can then be posted and shared on all your digital platforms. Remember to tag the brand and interviewees.
Educate through valuable, insightful, visual content
This idea of providing valuable content can be stretched even further. Whatever your industry, identify topical issues and share your opinion. Produce whitepapers, manuals and “how-to guides” for specialists in your industry. Host a webinar. To build a database along the way, ask people to sign up to download whitepapers or view webinars. Check out SurveyMonkey and Google’s free tools and start building.
Keep it real and tell authentic stories
Craft a brand story that will strike an emotional chord with your customers. The simplest way to achieve this is to identify and clearly define (in simple terms), your brand’s purpose and what it strives to achieve. Standard Bank’s latest campaign – “What’s your next?” – does this quite well by taking on a journey through a number of key milestones and showing how the bank is there along the way. Complement your story with real stills and audiovisuals that people can relate to; get rid of stock imagery and create your own. Find someone to capture your staff and client “moments” with your brand and use these to tell your authentic story.
Take stock of the worthy causes and events that happen in and around your city, and adopt those that resonate with your brand. Depending on your budget, you could sponsor the event, donate a prize, or buy tickets for teams to participate in the event. Don’t forget to take a group photo and share it on your social media platforms and company website. Then write up a blog post on your website or a press release site like Bizcommunity.com.
Take online conversations offline and vice versa
Serious social media users and influencers capture and post just about everything that happens in their lives. In fact, I’m guilty as charged. Hashtags that we spot offline are subtle reminders that we should be putting up a post on our timelines. Take the hashtags that you use on social media to your offline platforms such as your printed marketing collateral and elements in your office environment; a great one is a hashtag decal on full length office mirrors that visitors and staff use to capture their outfits of the day… and show them to all their followers.