You’ve heard it before. You must create value. You must offer value when marketing your business online. What does that mean really? Here are some ways that you can offer value when marketing online.
The fact is, people don’t like being sold to.
Even when they want to buy something, they want it to be their decision and they don’t want to feel pushed or rushed or sold.
As a business owner, you might be going online to tell others about your business and your products. But what are other people coming online for? Because they want your product?
Could be! Maybe they do and they don’t even know it yet! And maybe your marketing, telling them about your product, will be a perfect fit, right now, today.
But chances are, they are NOT going online to find you or your product. They don’t care about you or your product. They care about their problem and THAT is what they went online for. They have a question. They have a problem. They are looking for an answer.
That is value.
I just went looking for a gadget today so I will use it as an example. Let’s say you sell a gadget to “spiralize” veggies. How would someone find you? Why are they going online? Do they have a problem spiralizing?
Chances are, they don’t even know that word! I didn’t! I went online to find out how to make ‘noodles’ out of zucchini. Why? Eventually I bought in a local store because I wanted it NOW. [Local business owners: don’t ever underestimate the power of NOW!] The guy in the store said “so you’re a vegetarian?” No, not at all!! I want some zucchini noodles with my meat, dammit!
So I went online looking for recipes to make “noodles” that are not noodles! I wanted to know how to make noodles without the gluten of the pasta and without all the carbs of the corn and rice pastas. I like spaghetti squash but I’m tired of it. It’s summer and I don’t feel like figuring out how to do it on the grill and I’m not turning the oven on. Zucchini noodles sounded like a good idea.
I found a recipe saying to use a potato peeler. I tried it. It wasn’t too good. I thought there would be a better way. It’s then that I discovered “spiralizing” and gadgets that cost anywhere from $12 to $50 and up. What the heck?
Are you with me? I’m a baffled consumer looking for an answer.
So if you sell these things, you might have earn my business if … if you had some answers!
I want to know what all this means … spiralizing. What veggies can I use it for? How do I cook it? Will it taste any good? What recipes do I use it in? I don’t know if I will like it so why would I want to spent $50? Are the little $12 any good at all and if so, for what? Lots of questions.
So, if you were the gadget-seller with the informative site, which answered all my questions – in other words gave me value, lots of valuable information that I was looking for, before I even knew what this gadget was called, I would probably buy from you, right? And tell others about it too, right?
Tell others. That’s the other side of this, right?
Online marketing is social and about making connection so you want to make your content good and valuable but you also want audience engagement. That will make your brand recognizable and then that multiplies to loyalty and increased reach etc.
So what will it look like for your business?
Here are 9 ways to offer value and increase engagement.
All marketing online starts with content and that could be a blog post, an article, a Facebook post, a video (share on YouTube), a podcast (share on SoundCloud), PowerPoint or Google Slide decks (share on SlideShare), Memes, Infographics, Whitepapers, Checklists or Quizzes. Even Tweets!
As I said earlier, depending on what products you are selling, you want to be there when people come online with a problem or a question. If their problem is zucchini noodles, they are probably not looking for a white paper or an eBook or a tweet. But a recipe might get their attention. A short article or blog post would probably be effective.
If your target market is online marketers, they might be looking for something that will teach them something. They will expect that you couldn’t teach much in a Tweet or a Facebook post. They might be interested in something more long-form.
If you have a blog, don’t just make it about every day things going on at your business. Make it THE place, the authority on your product, of your industry. If you are not familiar with Marcus Sheridan and his journey, learn about him and his Sales Lion. His story will put into perspective for you, what being an authority can do for a business.
Your blog should give the impression that you really know what you are talking about and that you are worth paying attention to. Your product might be kitchen gadgets but you really do know your gadgets and can really help people make their lives easier. You helped them decided on the spiralizer so when they need a chopper or a cherry pitter, they will go to you first!
That is not to say that your site has to be the most boring site ever with only reviews about products and measurements and data. NO! In fact, you want to mix it up.
Make sure you are putting out different types of content. Varied, interesting, and entertaining. Have you had a personal experience with the products? How about that cherry pitter? Did your office have a cherry pitting contest? Maybe it was just prior to the cherry pie contest?!
You can be fun and still be the authority!
Since marketing online is social, you want engagement. So one thing you want to do is turn on “commenting” on your blog. Make sure you have a good blog comment spam buster and monitor the comments and engage with them your peeps! It might take a little more effort but it is better to have the commenting on.
What is the easiest way to be sure that your content can be found? Make sure that your content is solving problems and answering questions.!
When you do a new article or blog post, you don’t want to name it ‘spiralizer.’ You want to do article that answer questions. This will make your content more easy to find. So consider what questions people are searching and write your articles to those questions. Some examples for our spiralizer theme: How to Make Noodles from Zucchini; How to make Carb-Free Noodles; Have the Noodles without the Carbs; Healthier Pasta Dishes; Pretty Veggie Nest Recipes etc. etc.
Answer the question that people came online looking for and they will find your content!
Sometimes the simplest things are overlooked. Whenever you post a great piece of content on your blog, tell people about it. Email your list and post a link on all your social networks. Post to Facebook. Send a series of Tweets.
Make all your content easy to share on social media. Always include all the accounts where people can expect to find you. Include plug-in buttons to share on social media so that when people like something, they just click to share and don’t have to think about it.
People love those dang quizzes. I am just as guilty of going onto a silly quiz to find out what my princess name would be even though I know they are just mining my information. If you are going to do some sort of fun quiz, make it great! Make it fun but don’t abuse people’s information. Or time! I gave up on a quiz after about question 35, I mean c’mon! Have they no shame?!
Finally, always treat your readers with respect and that goes for their time. Never put your content in a situation where it become ‘click bait’ or use any sort of bait and switch techniques. You will lose more customers than you ever had!
Hope this helps put a different perspective on your content!
Patt Timlin is a marketing expert set on sharing her expertise with other online marketers to help them achieve the dream of working online. She is secretly pleased with the surge in content marketing as revenge of the English majors! Entrepreneur, blogger, guide, helper – Patt loves the online world and loves to share it!
Patt is the author of:
BloggerPatt! [just for the fun of it!]
Please reach out on Facebook at Spot4connections on Facebook
Patt Timlin is a marketing expert set on sharing her expertise with other online marketers to help them achieve the dream of working online. She is secretly pleased with the surge in content marketing as revenge of the English majors! Entrepreneur, blogger, guide, helper – Patt loves the online world and love to share it!
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