Marketing has certainly changed. With the rise of social media, traditional advertising has become anything but traditional. And yet, even with the transparency and openness that today’s marketing platforms encourage, many businesses still have much to learn about how to communicate with their customers.
In a recent post, Zara Altair explains, “In the old days of creating content, the guidelines were all about your business. Tell potential customers about your service or product, explain your business’s story on an About Us page, and toot your own horn… If you are still thinking this way about business content, it’s time to rethink. That old way is talking at customers.”
I can’t think of many people who like being talked at.
The alternative is to reach customers in a way that communicates what they want. This has as much to do with what customers need as what a business has to offer. “In today’s internet environment,” Altair notes, “how you speak to customers in your content is the key to connection and engagement. A strong signal leads to customers seeing you as a trustworthy expert.”
Building trust is the key. As Bernadette Jiwa notes, using social media for marketing doesn’t guarantee more customers. What makes communicating with customers successful is understanding why they want to buy and how they make decisions. “We still buy things the people we trust are buying,” Jiwa states. “We eat in the places our friends tell us serve good food. We know where to get the best coffee because our neighbours tell us. We do things we see others doing. We always have done. We always will do.”
Once we understand why and how customers buy, we can communicate in a way that shows we truly know who we’re marketing to. We can create a story for our businesses that our customers will recognize and relate to as well. And, in this way, we can make our businesses stand out from the rest.