Traditional marketing methods rely heavily on targeting a defined demographic through either above or below the line advertising. Above the line advertising relies primarily on print adverts or television advertising. A rough guideline is that if you pay for it and it uses the media, then it can usually be defined as above the line adverting. Below the line does not use the paid media, and can consist of a whole variety of tools, such as pamphlets or even product demonstrations.
Those some of the options available to marketing professionals in the past, but what of today? If there is one development that can be said to have revolutionized the marketing environment it is the rapid rise and unparalleled reach of the social media.
Today businesses and brands are using the social media to reach consumers where and when they are most open to marketing messages. They are engaging in conversations with their target audiences that are improving their product and service offerings in a real time way that has never before been possible.
The multitude of different social media platforms that are popular among varied audience segments means that the organization can reach people with relevant and engaging messaging which is tailored to their unique requirements. By developing quality content, including video and images (as well as great copy)popular brands are also encouraging brand champions to share that content, meaning that companies can reach more people, more cost effectively than ever before.
So what are the keys to great social media marketing? Firstly that content has to be engaging and add value to the Internet experience of the individual. This value can be in the form of information that allows them to take action, such as a special offer or that gives them valuable information on the products that they use. Some brands are also harnessing the power of humor. Interesting and amusing content such as video has been proven to increase sharing across the social network.
One of the keys to producing exceptional content for social media marketing purposes is to know the requirements of the audience. The social media is by nature interactive which means that consumers can give their opinions and voice their concerns about brands in real time. In order to leverage this interactivity brands need to respond in kind. Ignoring or not responding quickly to consumer concerns can have extremely negative impacts on the brand reputation.
Unique and engaging content will also help businesses elevate their standing in search engine rankings which can have the effect of attracting more consumers to their owned marketing real estate, such as a blog or website. Once the consumer reaches this destination it is up to the company social media manager to make the most of any interaction.
So how do brands go about creating brand ambassadors from consumers? One of the first steps may be to engage the services of content marketers who will quickly identify the needs of the consumers and advise the business on the best types of content to create.