The following is adapted from Success Secrets Of The Social Media Marketing Superstars by Mitch Meyerson and 22 other top social media marketers, including our own Ann Handley from MarketingProfs. Pick up your own copy here.
With current advancements in social media technologies, entrepreneurs can reach tens of thousands of people in new and engaging ways. Even better, they can accomplish this without spending a dime, which makes social media marketing quite possibly the ultimate low-cost, high-impact, guerrilla-marketing tool.
Though it takes just minutes to register and begin using social media websites, entrepreneurs who plan on using these powerful tools must do much more than merely participate in the social media “craze.” The overcrowded and highly competitive Internet marketplace demands that entrepreneurs approach social media seriously and arm themselves with essential knowledge of people, marketing and communication as well as a solid plan of attack. Online entrepreneurs must not only stay current with the ever-changing online technologies but also be a strong marketer and savvy business person.
Mastering online marketing is a book in itself with chapters for getting and converting traffic, direct response copy writing, website development, multimedia, affiliate programs and much more. But for now let’s keep simple it and answer two questions: 1) What is marketing ? and 2) Why should your prospects buy from you over your competitors?
What is Marketing?
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” (Peter Drucker)
Although often misunderstood, marketing is a straightforward concept, and it is relevant to every part of your company. Marketing is essentially the art and science of getting and keeping profitable and valuable customers, and the hub of every business. This requires that you fully understand the problems and concerns of your market and are able to clearly explain how you can help them solve these problems.
In addition, it is crucial to understand that marketing is an ongoing process that applies to every contact with your target market. Jay Conrad Levinson, the father of guerrilla marketing, states it this way. “Marketing is everything you do to promote your business, from the moment you conceive of it, to the point at which customers buy your product or service and begin to patronize your business on a regular basis. The key words to remember are everything and regular basis.”
The good news is that great marketers are not born, they are made. Marketing is a very teachable skill and one that you can easily learn with some time, practice, and dedication. For more than 10 years, I have trained and certified hundreds of guerrilla marketing coaches in using low-cost, high-impact marketing strategies.
6 Reasons Your Prospects Will Choose to Become Your Customers
1. Their experiences with you. Your prospects will judge your worthiness based on how you make them feel. This includes how well you communicate, your content depth, your website’s quality, etc. Your prospects will also be more likely to engage in conversations with you when you allow them to interact in ways they prefer (e.g., some people may relate to a blog post while others are more engaged by video or audio content). And always remember you are marketing to people first, so build the human bond by remembering personal details and listening carefully.
2. Your product or service benefits. There are two basic reasons why people purchase anything: to increase pleasure (e.g. glowing health, freedom, popularity) or decrease pain (e.g. stress, financial problems, poor health). Focus on your product or service’s most compelling benefits as you communicate with your target audience—then, make sure you deliver on your promises. Be specific.
3. Your trustworthiness and reputation. Protect your good name, and do everything in your power to ensure that your customers, prospects, friends, employees, and colleagues view you as a person of value. Keep in mind that your credibility, plausibility, and truthfulness will also win you far more customers than exaggerated claims and over-the-top promises.
4. The value they receive. Although most consumers are price-conscious, the vast majority do not consider price alone when making their buying decisions. Rather, they consider value: the difference between what something costs and its worth to the buyer. What does value look like in the social media world? Answer: great content, expert advice and personal connections.
6. How well you articulate their most pressing concerns. To market effectively you must get into your prospects’ heads. Listen carefully to your target audiences’ expressed opinions and feelings—particularly as they relate to your products or services—and be sure to address them directly. (Social media forums and blogs make this very easy.) Research the marketplace to discover new trends and golden opportunities that you can leverage to benefit your business.
Most importantly, especially in the social media marketing environment, remember that the superior online and offline marketing happens when entrepreneurs are willing to put themselves out there and build genuine human connections. Social media marketing is not about quantity; it’s about quality. It is not just about long lists of followers. It begins with a sincere desire to grow and nourish genuine relationships and doing whatever it takes to ensure they happen. If you do this, the money will follow.
Mitch Meyerson is the author of nine books, including Mastering Online Marketing, Guerrilla Marketing on The Internet, Six Keys to Creating the Life You Desire. He has been a featured expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show and has trained and certified hundreds of Guerrilla Marketing coaches. To get your free Internet Marketing Toolkit and read his blog, visit www.MasteringOnlineMarketing.com.