Running a small business today takes huge commitment, hard work, blood, sweat and tears PLUS a stellar team of employees to drive the business on a day to day basis. In addition to all of those things, you also need to keep up on your marketing, revenue streams, payroll, remittances... The list goes on and on. To help you out, we've put together a few quick reasons as to why INSTEAD of investing all of your marketing dollars in buying advertising (Shocking for us to say right?) - You should be investing part of those dollars in generating your companies own, original content and helpful information for your customers. Reason being... Today we live in the age of non-selling. As consumers we don't want to be sold to & we're constantly being thwarted with advertising everywhere we look. The new age of consumer, will call you when they need you or your services. You can guarantee we're going to do our own research on any product we are interested in, then WE will decide for ourselves what product or service is right for us. Once we're ready to buy, we like to buy online - but sometimes we like to talk to a real person to complete the transaction. That being said, here's 5 more reasons as to why original content should take priority in your marketing and advertising mix.
1. Ad blockers
On TV, online and even on the radio - People (AKA your customers) are becoming quite keen on blocking out the advertising that you're paying through the nose for. The ME generation doesn't want you to sell to them - They will find you when they need you. In recent studies, it was discovered that 60% of television viewers were aware of ad blocking technologies, which increased to 70% in those under the age of 25. In radio, people are willing to pay for ad free radio with apps like Spotify and Pandora. On TV we're willing to pay for subscription based entertainment with platforms like Netflix and SHOMI - You can even pay to watch your favourite sports team on demand with apps like NHL Game center and MLB.tv. Even worse... More and more these alternative options, free of advertising are becoming more affordable and more tailored to each individual person's likes and dislikes. Sadly, the days of waiting for your favourite song to come on the radio lingers in the dust. But how do you as a business owner, still reach potential new customers? You do whatever you can to be found when your products and services are being searched for online.
2. Artificially Intelligent Advertising Platforms
Facebook, Google, Pinterest, YouTube - All of these advertising platforms collect boat loads of details from their users, in order to create a personalized online experience specific to each individual. If your Facebook ads seem too generic, if the targeting of your ads is too broad in age range or geographical location, if your ad isn't being engaged with - Facebook just simply isn't going to show it anymore, even though you as the advertiser are willing to pay Facebook to show it. Google's main goal aside from generating revenue and leading the online world of search is to bring its users who are searching for something to the most helpful information, with the best user experience. If your website isn't user friendly, doesn't display well on a cell phone, if your content isn't original, if you're trying too hard to rank your website with keywords and black hat strategizes they'll actually penalize you for it - They will limit the amount of times they'll show your website or ad over others that are more serving to the user. So how do you combat this online force? You create droves of helpful information on your website that speaks to each potential viewer individually, to make that connection personal to their experience.
3. Search Engine Optimization
If you don't have helpful, original content online waiting to help your customers out when they need you, Google isn't going to bother promoting you. Again they want to give their users the best experience, the best information, the instance that they ask for it. If you're not taking the time to tell Google who you are, where you are, what you do, showcasing to Google that you have more expertise that you're willing to share than your competitors are - Your competitors are winning out, even if you know you're better, more economical, more experienced, more knowledgeable etc. If Google can't back up your claims with public content, how is Google to know if you're as credible as you say you are? The Google bots have never met you in person to know any better and neither have your potential new customers.
4. Ever Changing Social Media Platforms
The hum of social media continues to buzz, with changes in the user interfaces, changes in how followers use the platform, changes in how content is searched on them, displayed, categorized and more. Everyday there is something changing in the social landscape and just like we said years ago - Social media isn't going anywhere - It's time to get on the train already before you get left at the station. In the last month, Twitter has changed their algorithm from chronological to arranging their tweets by interest, organizing content by what's being talked about the most. Instagram has changed their algorithm to show you more of the kinds of posts that Instagram thinks you will like based on what you like or engage with on a regular basis. Working with a professional (not your brother-in-laws, kid sister) who not only keeps up on what's changing with social media - but who actually works with social media for business purposes everyday... Is crucial to maximizing the return on your time and money invested.
5. Perception Of Intent
If a potential customer thinks that you're only talking to them to get them to buy something, they get uncomfortable. In fact don't be surprised if you blink and their gone. We've become accustomed to reading between the lines, becoming very aware (though some might even say skeptical) in terms of what we're being sold - In fact it shows that with all of the information we have at our fingertips we've become more intelligent, making more informed decisions every day. But how does that affect your business? It means the integrity behind your products, services and your reason for being in business are of the utmost importance if they are not already. More and more you'll find you have to jump through more hoops, invest more time and become not only more knowledgeable but more honest about what you're selling. As consumers we want to work with and buy from people we like, and from those who are like-minded. Which is why building a brand that stands for and is known for what they say they are needs to be deeply rooted not only the day to day of your business, but in every possible word that might be spread about your business online, in your advertising and on the street.
You know your customers best, when you listen to them, spend time with them and help them solve their problems, you'll see your network, reputation, level of service and your bottom line grow. It's true you might believe that your customers aren't online, that they aren't on social media, and that they're die-hard listeners to radio or only respond to cold-calls. But does that hold true as soon as something goes south and that non-social media invested customer logs on to leave you a review on your Google business listing, or tweets out to their following about the issue? What about when those current radio diehard customers disappear as they age out of your key customer profile? Will you simply go out of business, as you run out of those customers? Of course not... It's time to adapt and evolve like your business has. Start investing in your own original content, like the day you decided it was time to open the doors on your new entrepreneurial adventure. When you're ready to take the plunge give us a call at 705-252-4180 - We're here to help you in any way possible, every step of the way - Even if our bottom line doesn't increase for doing so. May the 4th be with you.