Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is all about the most overlooked aspect of content marketing.
I don’t know of anyone who likes advertisements, which is why I find it so frustrating when companies treat marketing like advertising, especially on social media.
1) Advertising vs Marketing
Advertising is all about making a sale. Marketing is all about building relationships.
Advertising tends to put the focus on the products/services being sold, whereas marketing should put the focus on the customers you want to buy your products/services. What do they need? What are their frustrations? How can you help solve their problems for them? Why should they buy from you over anyone else? Marketing is your chance to prove you care about your customers as people, and once you blow that chance, it can be almost impossible to get back into their good graces.
That’s why I hate seeing companies waste opportunities to build relationships by mistakenly focusing their energies on trying to make a sale.
2) Social Media
I see this most often on social media. Although social media sites now offer advertising space as a way to generate income for themselves, that doesn’t mean every post should be an advertisement. If you’re paying for that space, fine. Advertise to your heart’s content, but if you’re not paying to get that post in front of people, no one has to see it or anything else you post ever again.
The important thing to remember about social media is that people don’t have to follow you. If you’re not providing value, they’ll unfollow you or they won’t follow you to begin with. If you annoy them, they can block you or even report your account as spam. If enough people do that, the site might ban your account.
This is why it’s so important for the focus of all your marketing efforts to be on building relationships and providing value. If you manage to do that consistently, the sales will follow.
I see this mistake made most often in the form of comments on my post and people sending me direct messages as soon as I follow them. Both of those are great opportunities to provide value and create positive interactions, but too often companies waste those opportunities by imploring me to follow them and/or buy stuff from them. Not only do they fail to achieve either, but they just lost a potential customer (and a follower) for good.
The same goes for blog posts. Commenting on other people’s blog posts can be a great way to increase your online visibility and demonstrate your authority, but on social media, you have to provide value rather than just blatantly promoting yourself.
4) The Long Game
Advertising is all about trying to get the quick sell. Marketing requires you to play a long game. This is part of why it can be hard to convince small business owners of the value in content marketing, but I promise it pays off in the long run. It might take longer to convert leads into customers, but by focusing on your relationship with them (instead of just their bank account) you’ll build a loyal following of repeat customers who will keep following you, keep buying from you, and keep referring you to their friends and family.
Thanks for reading! If you like what you see here, you can sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page to make sure you never miss an update. If you need some help taking your content to the next level, let’s chat.