I’ve started to realize that many business & brand owners think about online marketing in a very one-sided way; it’s treated like an opportunity to broadcast messages out that are focused on one thing, the product being sold. It’s as if we’ve forgotten that there are people on the receiving end of those messages, people that have the freedom to choose what they’ll buy and where they’ll buy those things from.
Those people are actively seeking buying “experiences” that make them feel good about themselves, they want to feel empowered in their purchases. This is why it matters to create conversations with your audience; facilitate a two-way dialogue with every person that wants to participate so they’ll feel seen, heard and appreciated by you. When the rule on social media is to chase the largest numbers of nameless followers, intentional conversations are the exception.
Your intended customer has a problem. Your business sells solutions to problems. It’s your job (through your marketing) to create the conversations that will open the door for your customer to tell you the problem so you can match your language to theirs when describing the solution. This is what sets online marketing apart, the available platforms are already set up to support socializing!
How can marketers find out what customers are looking for (so they can invite them to engage in conversations)? Ask! Creating an online survey or set up interviews for your audience to share what they’re struggling with and how extensive their problems are. If you don’t currently have an audience, search the groups that you’re in to search for concerns and/or complaints of your intended customer. You could also solicit feedback from group members by asking those same survey questions. In the online world people are always looking for opportunities to share their opinions, use that as a market research tool.
It’s easy to forget that we’re communicating with other humans through our digital screens, but savvy marketers are constantly looking for ways to better attract and delight the people they ultimately want to buy their products. In a world where we’re currently leaning more heavily on digital platforms to connect and feed our social needs, marketers can choose to be willing contributors to the discourse and discovery that attracts consumers to these platforms in the first place.
Don’t miss your opportunity to create conversations.
Moniek James is a serial entrepreneur and nerd who helps small business owners use social media to be more awesome online. Find her at www.moniekjames.com where she shares her favorite entrepreneurial hacks and musings.